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With old age comes a range of physical ailments and chronic conditions that often need surgery to correct. It’s common for seniors to have surgery for health issues such as cataracts, varicose vein removal, joint replacement, cancerous tumor removal, spine surgery, gallbladder and ulcers. While the surgeries can often help with the elderly adult’s medical issues, recovery can present its own set of challenges. Many elderly adults need help from family caregivers and home care providers during the weeks after their surgery.
Why Is Recovery So Difficult for Seniors?
Major surgery is difficult for people of any age, but elderly adults often struggle more with recovery, which is often slower than what is typical. It can be more difficult for elderly adults to shake off nausea and fatigue of the anesthesia and it may be more difficult for them to manage their pain. Seniors are especially at risk for post-surgery blood clots as many of them are more sedentary. Because of a weakened immune system, they are also more susceptible to infections.
Recovery from surgery also means that elderly adults need to take pain relief medicine regularly and they may need to apply heat or ice to the incision site. Depending on what kind of surgery, elderly adults may not be able to sleep well or even more around. In addition to all that, the aging adult most likely has additional and unrelated health issues that they still need to manage. These reasons and more are why many seniors need help for several weeks and even months after they’ve had surgery.
How Family Caregivers and Home Care Providers Can Help
Aging adults aren’t going to be very active in the first few days after surgery. Family caregivers and home care providers should be with the senior full-time for the first few days. They will likely need help with self-care tasks like bathing, dressing, and toileting. Of course, they also won’t be doing things for themselves around the house. Family caregivers and home care providers should be able to handle housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation.
After surgery, seniors usually have several follow-ups with their doctor to check the incision and assess recovery status. Most seniors won’t be able to drive themselves, and of course, rely on family caregivers and home care providers for transportation. Other errands, such as grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions, are easily done by others while the aging adult recuperates at home. As the elderly adult makes sufficient strides toward recovery, they can take over some of the more basic tasks as they feel up to it.
There’s no doubt that surgery can be an important step in an elderly person’s health and wellness. Under the advice and care of a doctor, elderly adults will get advanced medical treatment. However, because the standard recovery time for seniors is longer and often harder than for others, it makes sense that they have hired home care providers to come in whenever it is needed.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Lexington, SC, please talk to our caring staff. Call today (803) 223-6173.