How to Support a Parent or Family Member Recovering After Surgery

Posted on May 1, 2023

Surgery can be physically and emotionally challenging, especially for older adults, and the recovery process can be long and sometimes complicated. Some individuals may be in a rush to return to their routine by pushing their bodies too hard, too fast, and actually delay the recovery process.

Our The Pavilion Senior Living team offers specialized nursing services in Tennessee, and we want to share how you can support a loved one recovering after surgery to promote safety and healing.

Plan Accordingly

Before your loved one has surgery, work with their healthcare provider about what to expect and take steps to promote safety in the home. For example, ensure living spaces are set up for your loved one’s comfort and ease of movement. If their bedroom is on a second level, create a temporary sleeping area on the first floor to avoid the need to go up and down stairs which can aggravate sutures or increase the risk of a fall.

In addition, make sure they have any necessary medical equipment such as walkers or crutches, assistance with medication management, and arrange transportation for follow-up appointments.

Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Feeling comfortable and relaxed is essential to the recovery process. Set up your loved one’s space ahead of time to make sure the room has clean bedding, comfortable pillows and blankets, and is well-ventilated and temperature controlled. If they will require medical equipment, ensure that it is in good condition and working correctly.

Think of any other personal items your loved one may want or need to feel comfortable and relaxed, such as favorite books, a television, etc., to place nearby.

Offer Emotional Support

Recovering after surgery can be emotionally draining. Feeling a loss of independence can be extremely difficult for anyone, but it can be especially hard for older individuals who have just had their lifestyle disrupted.

Offer emotional support by checking in on them regularly and providing companionship. It is also essential to encourage them to share their feelings and listen attentively.

Encourage a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is crucial for recovering after surgery. Ensure your loved one has access to healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. If they have dietary restrictions or require special diets, make sure that you cater to these needs.

Depending on the type of surgery, some individuals may be unable to stand for long periods of time, making it difficult to prepare balanced meals. Be mindful of this and make the necessary arrangements for your loved one’s daily meals.

Practice Medication Management

After a surgery, your loved one may be prescribed medications for pain management, to prevent infection, etc. In these instances, it’s crucial to maintain their medication schedule and ensure they take them as prescribed. Use smart devices, such as phones or voice assistants, to set up reminders for medication times or coordinate someone to administer medications to avoid confusion or missed doses.

In addition, if they experience any side effects, notify their doctor immediately.

Encourage Rest and Relaxation

Plenty of downtime is essential to the healing process, so it is important that your loved one gets their rest. Many individuals want to rush their recovery process, but taking the necessary time to recover promotes healing and decreases the risk of a complication or worsening health issues.

With medication schedules, discomfort, and stress, following a regular sleep schedule can be difficult following a surgery. However, you can help your loved one by sticking to the same routine each day and night and practicing relaxation techniques to help aid their sleep.

Consider Skilled Nursing at The Pavilion Senior Living

Exercise is essential for individuals recovering after surgery. It helps prevent blood clots, improves circulation, and reduces the risk of infections. Encourage your loved one to participate in physical therapy and follow their exercise regimen as advised by their doctor. A great way to ensure this is done safely is to utilize specialized nursing services like those offered at The Pavilion Senior Living.

Along with skilled medical care, we also offer services ranging from assistance with dressing and bathing to eating and wellness activities. Our skilled nursing communities have a licensed physician that supervises each resident’s care and therapy services, including speech, occupational, and physical therapies.

The skilled nursing services we offer include:

  • 24-Hour Emergency Care
  • Medication Monitoring and Administration
  • Regular Wellness Checks
  • On-Site Therapies
  • Specialized Care
  • Ambulation

Helping a loved one recover from surgery requires patience, understanding, and support. With the proper care and assistance, individuals can recover from surgery more effectively and return to their daily routines.

If you would like to learn more about our specialized nursing services at The Pavilion Senior Living, we invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our team.

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