Preparing Seniors for Surgery: Tips for family members, caregivers, and seniors
As seniors continue to age, it is likely at some point that they may need surgery in some capacity, whether to correct an injury or remove a tumor. Surgeries can prolong seniors' lives and offer them pain relief. However, they can often be daunting and even scary. It’s perfectly normal for seniors to have some anticipation of surgery, even if it’s for the benefit of their own health. Fellowship Square offers some tips on how seniors as well as their family members and caregivers can prepare for surgery.
Have a comprehensive consultation with the surgeon —
Before going into surgery, seniors, and their family members or caregivers should know exactly what to expect with the surgery, from the moment they are wheeled into the operating room until they are discharged from the hospital with instructions for rehabilitation therapy or ongoing treatment/medications. It’s a good idea for seniors to take notes or record the session or to have a family member with them who can offer an extra set of ears and ask any questions they may have on the expectations of the surgery and aftercare.
Set seniors up for success —
The healthier seniors are going into surgery, the better prepared they will be to handle and manage their post-surgery healing and rehabilitation. Prior to surgery (even months ahead), it’s a good idea for seniors to speak with their doctors about how they can improve their health by eating a nutritious diet and exercising (if approved by the doctor!), for example, to ensure they are in their best health possible before going into surgery. Typically, the stronger they are mentally and physically, inside and out, the better off they will fare in surgery and afterwards. Seniors may consider adding meditation to their daily repertoire to build mental strength.
Follow “doctors’ orders” —
It’s important that seniors stick to the advised plan when it comes to pre-op treatment. That could mean fasting for a certain number of hours prior to the surgery appointment time, refraining from taking any prescribed or over the counter medications (this will be determined by the doctor prior; seniors should not stop taking their medications unless instructed by their doctor), bringing any/all necessary paperwork, leaving jewelry, and valuables at home and not wearing contacts or dentures.
Believe it —
Going into surgery with a positive attitude is important for seniors and their loved ones. Never forget the power of prayer! Turn to the Lord to ask for strength during surgery and recovery for seniors and their loved ones. God is listening and those that need an extra hand during a somewhat frightening time should not be afraid to reach out and ask for His help.
Fellowship Square offers thoughts of comfort and healing for those preparing for surgery. While this can be a scary and difficult time, it’s important for seniors and their loved ones to remember that there are better days ahead!