Three things older adults should know when recovering from surgery

Elderwerks Educational Services - Three things older adults should know when recovering from surgery

Surgery can be a scary prospect, especially for older adults who often face longer recovery times and are at increased risk of complications than younger patients. Here are three things seniors should know to help make sure the recovery process goes smoothly:

1. Prepare in advance

Before the procedure, make sure both you and your loved one have a complete list of post-discharge instructions, including follow-up doctor appointments and medication schedules, to keep at home. Additionally, take into account the senior’s living environment and clear away any obstacles, such as rugs, furniture, or power cords, to ensure everything is as safe and accessible as possible once the patient is back home. Make sure the kitchen is stocked with easy-to-prepare, nutritious food.

2. Know the warning signs of infection

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, most patients do not develop an infection following an operation. However, infection develops in about 1 to 3 out of every 100 patients who undergo a procedure. To that end, both patients and loved ones should be on the lookout for common symptoms of a surgical site infection such as redness and swelling around the operated area, fever, and a buildup of liquid around the wound, according to the CDC. Those who notice symptoms of an infection should call their doctor immediately.

3. Take time to rest

Resting following an operation is vital to recovery. Once patients are cleared to go home following an operation, they should have a clear idea from their doctors about what physical activities they can and can’t do.

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