From the desk of Kim Champion: 

Speed Up Recovery After Surgery

If you are planning to have surgery, now is the time to pre-plan your recovery phase. “After-care” is a very important. While you are with the doctor, you have the added protection of the hospital environment or the doctor’s out-patient facility. The scary part is when you get home after the surgery! You should never go home alone and try to fend for yourself. Many times family members feel just as insecure as the patient. Even when the doctor carefully explains the after-care instructions, there are always questions or problems that come up once you get home. Why deal with these problems at the last minute? Avoid the stress and worry by making arrangements in advance for home health care assistance.

Arrangements can be made to pick you up directly from the hospital or doctor’s office, as soon as the doctor says you can go home. Then the aide drives you to your home and stays with you overnight. The aide, or nurse if desired, follows the doctor’s instructions for post-op care. She or he also stays by your bedside and offers comfort.  They will assist with medications, bandages, ice packs, and anything else that the doctor orders. They can also adjust pillows and bedding to allow for proper positioning of your body. They will monitor vital signs and warning signs and call the doctor if anything goes wrong. The aide or nurse will also escort you to any follow up doctor’s appointments.

These days it is not unusual for an individual to be sent home quite soon after surgery. Therefore, the need for a trained caregiver to assist when you first get home is crucial.  The good news is that patients recover faster at home than in an institution.  The home setting also provides an enhanced sense of independence,  even with an aide present.  The big difference is that when you are home,  you are in charge. The aide or nurse will accommodate your preferences and routines.  Sometimes you can’t even get that kind of attention from your spouse!

By: Kim Champion