How to Help Elderly Adults After Spine Surgery
When an elderly relative suffers from tremendous back pain, their doctor often recommends spine surgery. It is most often done for those who have herniated disks or bone spurs on the spine. The good news is that back surgery often relieves the conditions that cause the chronic pain. However, the recovery time for spine surgery can make it a real challenge for elderly adults to live on their own and take care of themselves.
Family caregivers can do a lot for their elderly relative during the spine injury recovery time, but they can’t always be there all day and all night. To ensure the aging loved one is well-cared for as they heal from spine surgery, many family caregivers hire home care providers to assist.
Here are some of the reasons why spine injury recovery often requires an in-home care provider.
Pain is a big part of any recovery from surgery, and seniors will need some painkillers along with their regular medication. However, it can be difficult to remember when to take the medications and how much. While a home care provider cannot administer the medication, they can give reminders, read bottle labels and provide water. Staying on top of the pain via prescribed medicine will certainly aid in recovery.
Avoid Blood Clots
One of the biggest dangers post-surgery is if seniors develop blood clots. They need to get up and walk around frequently, turn and shift their weight often and do stretches and exercises as needed to keep their circulation going. Home care providers can encourage movement, support the elderly adult in getting around, and report any problems to family members.
With spine surgery, the aging adult won’t be able to bend, twist or even lean over for many weeks. This makes it very hard to bathe, shower, get dressed, use the toilet and more. A home care provider can be there to help, and also suggest adaptive tools that can make things easier, like a shower chair and raised toilet.
Even if the elderly person did well on their own before the surgery, they won’t be able to do much in the weeks following. Home care providers can pitch in and give additional support at home, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, pet care, and even grocery shopping.
Seniors recovering from spine surgery can’t drive under doctor’s orders, yet they still need to get around. Home care providers can drive the elderly person to their follow-up appointments, to visit with friends or to run an errand or two.
It doesn’t matter what type of spine surgery the elderly adult had, recovery can last anywhere from two to six months. During this time, the aging adult really needs to have a helping hand for their needs. If seniors are cared for by a dedicated professional that can help them maximize their recovery time, they’ll be more comfortable, safe, and well.