The stress and worry of watching your elderly Mom or Dad go through major surgery – be it knee surgery, hip surgery, shoulder surgery, back surgery, or anything else, can be mentally exhausting and emotionally difficult. But the challenges are only beginning when your parent reaches the post-op step of the journey.
Perhaps, you may be asking, “My elderly parent just went through surgery. Now, what should I do?”
Here are four key steps you can take as a caregiver to your elderly parent post-op:
- Get Your Parent Into An Optimal Post-op Environment
The surgery rehabilitation process may be quick or it may be prolonged. You can’t know for sure how long it will take at the beginning, so you want to be sure your elderly parent will be comfortable during the surgery recovery process.
While there’s no place like home, you can certainly make your parent’s stay at a rehabilitation facility as pleasant as possible by choosing a top-rated company and a recovery environment that goes the extra mile.
- Make A Point Of Constantly Encouraging Your Elderly Parent
One major aspect of post-op recovery that often gets underestimated or entirely overlooked is that of good mental health. It’s easy to get depressed when you are alone too often, away from home, and sometimes undergoing a difficult rehab process.
Senior citizens can be especially prone to depression after major changes in their lifestyle, and it’s up to you to do all you can to keep your loved one encouraged.
Communication and visitation are the two major strategies to employ. Try to get the whole family together to make a rotation schedule so someone can be with your loved one as frequently as possible. And when no one can be there a particular day, try to communicate in other ways than your physical presence, such as phone calls, texts, emails, social media messages, paper letters, and more.
- Be Sure Your Parent Has Immediate Access To Skilled Nursing & Therapy
Take the time to talk to the staff at the post-surgery rehabilitation center about the level of care that your elderly parent will receive while there.
Your parent will need both skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapists near at hand. There may be rehab exercises he or she will need help with on a daily basis. Someone may need to check in on them each day and administer prescription medications.
You also want to have the peace of mind of knowing that medical professionals are keeping a close eye on your elderly Mom or Dad and that, in the event of an emergency, they would quickly get the attention that they would need.
- Be Prepared To Care For Your Elderly Parent At Home
Your parent may go into at-home care right after getting out of the hospital, or after a period of time in a rehab facility. Either way, your loved one is likely to need continued attention at home (theirs or yours) at some point post-op.
It may be necessary to rely on visiting nurses for a time who check in on your parent at home. And you may need to make some changes to their home environment like installing railings or a walk-in shower/tub, for example. It’s best to think through those potential future needs now so things can be ready for them when they finally come home.
To learn more about surgery rehabilitation or to sign up to take your rehabilitation journey with The Arbors in Amarillo, Texas, contact us today!