America’s seniors comprise 20% of all surgical procedures, and of those, most are joint and heart procedures. Surgery can be taxing on seniors and result in higher risks of complications and death. How can we adequately prepare them with home help and reduce the chance of such complications? Exercise, healthy nutrition, and reduction in anxiety and stress are among a few helpful strategies.

Prehab at home

New research indicates the importance of these strategies, or “prehab” methods, to help seniors recover well from such surgeries. Caregivers can help their loved ones by communicating with their loved ones about their surgery and recovery concerns.

Helpful light prehab activities such as light exercise and healthy eating are additional ways to prepare the body for a successful surgery. Balance, core, posture, and strength exercises help to reduce the chance of falling or bumping into things that can potentially cause further injury.

Post-surgery preparedness

Studies indicate 18% of Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge. To help reduce this, families can help prepare their loved one’s home during the surgery. This can often include modifications for the home such as wheelchair ramps, shower chairs, grab bars, etc. The most common operations—joint replacement surgeries, are often painful and limit mobility. Ensuring the home is safe and void of tripping hazards (e.g. loose carpeting and electrical cords) can be immensely helpful in preventing readmittance to the hospital.

For more complicated surgeries, in-home care is an option where trained caregivers can help seniors from a few hours to several days a week maintain physical therapy exercises, oversee medication management, meal preparation, and more.

Surgery doesn’t have to be stressful. With careful preparation, planning, and attention to the proper nutrition and exercise to reduce readmittance, you can feel rest assured your loved one will be safe and have a better experience in the comfort of their own home.

Interested how our caregivers can help with surgery? Visit our Transitional Care Services page.

Sources:

A Push To Get Older Adults In Better Shape For Surgery

Study: Hospital Readmissions Occur Among Nearly One-Fifth of Medicare Patients