Surgery can be a daunting experience for anyone, but for older adults, it can be incredibly difficult. Understanding what’s required to have a successful surgery and recovery can be overwhelming for older adults who may be experiencing physical limitations or cognitive impairment. However, there are five steps caregivers can take to help their aging loved ones prepare for surgery.
1. Help Them Stay Healthy before Surgery
In some cases, it takes extra effort to get the body ready for surgery. You can help your loved one avoid nutrition issues that might interfere with a safe surgery. For example, if your loved one has experienced low hemoglobin, the doctor may recommend taking supplements and eating iron-rich foods before surgery. Also, there may be medications or supplements your loved one should stop taking several days before having the surgery.
It’s also important to plan for your loved one’s care after surgery, and older adults who need help during the recovery process can benefit greatly from professional in-home care. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated senior care, you can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
2. Accompany Them to Pre-Op Appointments
Individuals getting ready for surgery can be affected by information overload. Make sure your loved one arrives at the pre-op appointment on time. You can also assist with asking questions and writing down information such as the arrival time for surgery and instructions regarding which medications to take on the day of the procedure.
3. Help Them Prepare for the Surgery before Leaving Home
On the night before surgery, individuals often receive a special cleanser for bathing. The cleanser reduces the risk of infections. Your loved one should sleep on clean linens and wear clean pajamas. You can assist with pre-surgery hygiene the night before and the morning of the surgery.
Hiring a professional caregiver can be a fantastic way to make your parent’s recovery process much more comfortable after surgery. In Clearwater, in-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. Reassure Them before Surgery
Typically, seniors go through procedures such as having their vital signs checked just before surgery. The surgeon usually stops by to talk with the individual and answer any last-minute questions. The anesthesiologist will also explain his or her role and address concerns your loved one may have about anesthesia. You can provide a calming presence for your loved one during the pre-surgery waiting period by bringing up concerns, answering questions, and offering reassurance.
5. Represent Their Interests during Surgery
An essential part of preparing for surgery is knowing a trusted family member or friend will be present if a crucial situation arises during the surgery. Older adults may feel more secure going into surgery when they’ve arranged for caregivers or loved ones to make sure their wishes are known. For example, there may be a situation that requires the surgeon to perform an additional procedure if a serious issue arises. Before surgery, older adults and their caregivers can discuss potential problems and what course of action to take. Knowing this information in advance not only helps older adults feel more secure, but it can also help caregivers feel more confident they’re carrying out their loved ones’ wishes.
Caring for a loved one, both before and after surgery, can take a toll on a family caregiver’s health. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.