Jul 13, 2018 by The Crafty Caregiver
Knee and hip replacement surgeries are common challenges for seniors but loving friends and family members can help make a speedy recovery, getting the patient back to good health and independence. The following suggestions can help you assist someone you love with a safe and successful surgical recovery at home. These tasks can also be fulfilled by our caregivers who provide home care services to those recovering at home from surgery:
Before surgery or hospital discharge, take time to set up a first-floor in-home recovery room so the patient won’t have to use steps. Be sure the bed is of the proper height, with fresh linens, some extra bed pillows, and a place for crutches or a walker to be stored within reach of the bed. Gather any necessaries and toiletries so they are nearby. If you can’t offer quick access to a bathroom, borrow or rent a bedside potty to help out initially.
There are always medications prescribed for a short time after surgery and it will be important that they are only taken as the physician has prescribed. Perhaps you can meet with the surgeon in advance, or immediately post-surgery, so you have the detailed instructions for medications prescribed.
Post-surgical wound care is essential. Help your loved one out by watching for swelling or increased inflammation. When offering at-home care, you may need to assist with gathering bandages or other medical supplies and changing the dressings, too.
Help out for a while with the household chores so your loved one can just focus on their recovery and get much-needed rest. You could help by bringing in the mail, doing the laundry, tidying up the house, shopping, and errands, and preparing meals.
There will be follow-up doctor appointments that can’t be missed. Knowing how important these appointments are to your loved one’s recovery, perhaps you can adjust your own schedule in order to provide transportation.
Rehab after hip and knee replacement surgeries always include an exercise plan. Exercises will be prescribed by the surgeon or a physical therapist, but elderly patients often can’t find the motivation to work through their exercises because of pain or fatigue. You can play a major role in their healthy recovery by encouraging them with a consistent exercise schedule, regardless of their resistance.
Recovery from surgery can require a lot of time and energy – maybe more than you really can provide, so don’t be hard on yourself. Consider our home care services that can assist in the home with recovery full- or part-time.