As we age many of us will face having an operation at some point from knee and hip replacements to cataract and heart surgery. If you or an elderly friend or relative has an upcoming surgical procedure, that could affect mobility and your plan is to recover at home, then preparing in advance is recommended.
Discharge planning starts as soon as the patient is admitted to hospital. Each hospital will have its own discharge policy and you can request a copy from the ward manager or from the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) department of the hospital.
There’s no place like home
Sitting in your favourite spot with your dog by your feet, drinking tea just the way you like it, having what you fancy to eat and sleeping in your own bed, can each be medicinal in their own right and help put you well on the road to recovery. Moving around your home freely following a spell in hospital, however, can be a daunting thought, especially if your mobility has been affected. This is where having a helping hand at home can make all the difference and preserve your independent living as you get back on your feet.
Short term practical help
Naturally, returning home after a stay in hospital entails a period of adjustment for you and the people around you. It may be that you’ve lost confidence and don’t want to be on your own, especially in the first few days back home post surgery. It is not uncommon to be tired and frustrated at not being able to do the things you want to do.
Preparing your home for post-operative care
Having your home prepared for your return can help you to feel in control and you can make these plans well in advance of being admitted to hospital with a Home Helper, selected by you. Basic preparations could include having somebody shop for food supplies, arrange for furniture to be moved around if necessary so it’s easier for you to manoeuvre, making up your bed and even taking care of any pets.
Re-build confidence after leaving hospital
Home Helpers can make life easier by going on errands for you such as fetching prescriptions, preparing a light lunch or a hot evening meal, accompanying you to hospital and doctor’s appointments and assisting you with paperwork etc.
It could be that a member of your family is your main carer or you have a post-operative carer in place for your personal needs and you simply want somebody to be there for you when they can’t be. Having somebody to talk to can be a welcome distraction from your discomfort and can give you a better outlook on your recovery. We find that friendships form this way and the relationship with a Home Helper can continue way beyond the point you rebuild your strength.