Caregiver Tips: Preparing Seniors for Surgery

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Nearly half of all adults over the age of 65 will undergo a surgical procedure in their senior years. Factors such as age and health can affect how a senior reacts to surgery, so it’s important to properly prepare your loved one if he or she has an upcoming surgical procedure scheduled. Below are a few tips that can help you prepare.

Create a Complete List of Medications 

It’s crucial that both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist are aware of the complete list of medications and supplements your loved one is taking before the day of surgery. Some types of drugs, such as blood thinners, will need to be stopped or have their dosages lowered before the procedure to prevent excess bleeding. Seniors who regularly take benzodiazepines, such as anxiety medications and sleeping pills, may need to stop or decrease their dosages to prevent complications with anesthesia.

Find a Baseline for Cognitive Functioning 

Older adults are often much more sensitive to anesthesia than young adults, and drugs metabolize much more slowly in their bodies, resulting in longer-lasting aftereffects. Some elderly individuals experience postoperative delirium marked by confusion and disorientation that can last for up to a week after surgery. Family members can ask their loved one’s physician to conduct a cognitive functioning test before surgery to provide a baseline that can be compared with the senior’s mental status after the operation.

Hiring a professional caregiver can be a great way to make your parent’s recovery process much more comfortable after surgery. Senior 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.

Plan for Post-Hospital Support 

A family member or professional caregiver should be available when your loved one is moved to a room after surgery. Seniors may be overwhelmed after surgical procedures, especially if they’re experiencing temporary delirium, and it’s important they’re surrounded by comforting and familiar faces. If your loved one wears glasses or uses a hearing aid, have these items available post-surgery, as inadequate sensory perception may contribute to confusion. 

It’s important to plan for your loved one’s care at home after surgery, and older adults who need help during the recovery process can benefit from professional in-home care. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. University Park families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.\

Ensure Safety at Home 

Family members who will be unable to stay with their loved ones on an around-the-clock basis following surgery should enlist the help of professional trained caregivers. An experienced live-in caregiver can maximize safety by making sure your loved one doesn’t take on activities that are too strenuous after surgery, assisting with daily tasks and personal care activities, ensuring doctor recommendations are followed, and keeping an eye out for post-hospital complications.

Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, University Park, TX, 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. Call one of our Care Managers at (214) 363-3400 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.


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