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Helping Seniors Avoid Hospital Readmission After Surgery

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Following surgery, most seniors want to leave the hospital as soon as possible. For many people, however, it becomes necessary to re-enter the hospital all over again when surgery complications arise during the recovery period. Hospital readmission is a particular concern for senior citizens, whose age and health can make them especially vulnerable. Here are three tips to share with your aging loved one that will help him or her avoid hospital readmission after surgery.

1. Take advantage of physical therapy and other rehabilitative programs.

Surgeons and other senior care providers in Oklahoma often prescribe various rehabilitative programs to help a senior transition from the hospital stay into homecare and recovery. These rehabilitative prescriptions could be as informal as suggested movements and exercises to be done at home, or as formal as a stay at a rehab facility. Whatever rehabilitative methods are on the table, follow them. These steps may feel too basic or too time consuming, but they are critical elements of recovery. Most importantly, a thoughtful rehabilitative program helps prevent new injuries or surgical complications.

2. Use the full course of any prescription medications.

Depending on the type of surgery, your senior’s doctor may prescribe one or more medications during recovery. Even if a senior looks or feels healthy after surgery, it is important for him or her to take the full course of prescribed medications. These prescriptions often stave off dangerous post-surgical infections and help with healing, but they can lose effectiveness if stopped early.

3. Consider additional home support.

Whether your senior relative already has an at-home caregiver or not, it may make sense to hire or add more help at home. Pain from surgery can reduce mobility, medications can interfere with cognitive function and behavior, and surgical dressings may require frequent changing. Having a professional caregiver in the home can help ensure early detection of possible complications or secondary infections. Caregivers in Oklahoma can also assist with medication reminders, pick up prescriptions, and provide transportation to follow-up appointments.

Surgical recovery can be a stressful time for seniors and caregivers, and seniors are particularly susceptible to complications after surgery. However, you can greatly reduce the chances of your loved one being readmitted by carefully following post-surgical instructions and ensuring he or she has all the necessary support for an efficient in-home recovery.

If your loved one could use a helping at hand after surgery, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can aid in the transition from hospital to home, help with everyday tasks around the house, and take complete CareNotes to keep family members and physicians abreast of any changes or post-surgery concerns. To learn more about our care services, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, and post-stroke care in Oklahoma, please give us a call at 405-285-4191 and request a free consultation.