In this blog, Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health brings to light the services you can receive after surgery and how to be prepared before your surgery. There are a lot of things to think about when preparing for major surgery. What are the risks? Will you be in pain? Have you thought about what help you’ll need to recover? Will you be able to stay at home while you heal? Although every surgical recovery is different, the goals of home-based clinical care after surgery include patient and family involvement, shared decision-making, and ﬂexibility around changes in plans to meet your needs.
Having home care services from Pemi-Baker can help you recover more quickly, keep you safe at home, and just as importantly, help you avoid another hospital stay.
Planning ahead for care
Although it’s not always possible to schedule your surgery in advance, you should understand beforehand how long your recovery may take, what you will and will not be able to do, and what help you will need while you are home.
Speaking to your doctor or your hospital discharge planner about home health care services prior to surgery will help you prepare for when you go home again. If your surgery is the result of an emergency situation, a family member or other caregiver could arrange for services on your behalf.
Additionally, since outpatient (day) surgery has become a much more common option, many people find themselves recovering from surgery at home the same day as their procedure. Some are unprepared to effectively manage their pain and discomfort, making it difficult for them to perform even routine tasks or basic personal care. They may be weak and tired. Managing multiple medications can be confusing and properly caring for the incision site can be challenging. The trusted, compassionate staff at Pemi-Baker will help.
How home health care helps your recovery
Home health care is personalized to fit your needs, based on your physician’s instructions and your own personal preferences. Depending on the complexity of the surgery, you may receive a single type of care or a combination of services. Nurses can provide services including wound care and medication management, while home health aides can provide assistance with personal care including bathing, dressing, and light housekeeping. Physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and social workers also play an important role in the recovery process. With orders from your doctor and input from you about your needs, the Pemi-Baker team will design a plan of care to reach your goals and help you recover.
What you can do ahead of the surgery
You can make your recovery at home go a lot smoother if you take a little time to plan ahead. Ask your doctor what you won’t be able to do at first while you’re healing up, and get help from friends and family to prepare your living space. You need to be careful about falling after an operation. “People get dizzy because they haven’t eaten for a few days and from being in bed,” says Jenn Stewart, RN, Clinical Supervisor. “You may need to get a walker or crutches to cut down your risk of a fall. Other tips to avoid stumbling would be using night lights in hallways, sleeping in a bedroom near a bathroom, wearing flat shoes or slippers and reducing the clutter in your home” said Stewart.
- Do I need to make changes to my house? This depends on what kind of operation you have. If it’s a complicated one, like a joint replacement or stomach surgery, you may need to tweak a few things in the bathroom or bedroom for easier access.
- Stairs: If you can’t climb up and down them after your surgery, you might have to make some changes. For instance, if your bedroom is upstairs, you may need to sleep on a lower floor for a while. Ask your friends or family to move your bed before you go into the hospital, or check into renting a hospital bed if you need it.
- Equipment: After some types of surgery, you’ll need to get special gear at home. Plan ahead if your doctor tells you that you need oxygen tanks, elevated toilets, shower seats, supplies to care for your cut, or other items. Get in touch with your insurance company to see if they’re part of your coverage.
- Stock your pantry: Ask your doctor if you have to stick to a certain diet. Make sure you’re well supplied with the right food before you get back home. Since you may feel tired during your recovery, prepare some meals before your operation and put them in the freezer.
There are many things you and your family can do to prepare for your surgery and give you the best possible recovery. Make arrangements in advance if your surgeon suggests getting a nurse, physical therapist, or health aide. Make sure you schedule the first visit before you leave the hospital. Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health can see you in less than 24 hours of arriving home.
Pemi-Baker Hospice & Home Health is a trusted, nonprofit agency proudly serving 29 towns in central and northern NH since 1967. Expert services include at-home healthcare and physical therapies (VNA), hospice and palliative care, and community programs including: American Red Cross CPR/AED/FA, Caregiver and Bereavement Support Groups and Ask A Pemi-Baker Nurse days at your local senior centers. Providing compassionate care with experienced staff who are trained, certified professionals and also your neighbors. In your time of need, we’re right where you need us.
Pemi-Baker is located at 101 Boulder Point Drive, Suite 3, Plymouth, NH. To contact us please call: 603-536-2232 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Like our Facebook Page: @pemibakerhospicehomehealth
~Written by Anna Swanson