Your mom went through surgery and is heading home. You need to make sure she has all of the help she needs for the next few weeks. Her surgeon says it will be a month before she’s back to her normal routines. What home care services are important?
She Cannot Lift Heavy Items
After most surgeries, lifting items heavier than five pounds is advised against. She doesn’t want to open the healing incisions. For now, she needs to avoid lifting a laundry basket, carrying in groceries, or pushing around a heavier vacuum.
Stairs May Be Off Limits
Depending on the surgery, your mom’s medical team may tell her to avoid stairs. She needs to sleep on the main level, near a bathroom. If that’s not possible, she’ll need to stay on the same floor as the entryway. If this means sleeping in a chair or a guest bedroom, so be it.
If her kitchen is on another floor, she can have a caregiver prepare meals and bring them to her. Her caregiver can wash dishes and put things away until the next meal.
She Needs Bathing Assistance
Is your mom supposed to bend over? If not, help with bathing may be necessary. She might have to have a caregiver nearby to hand her shampoo and conditioner. If she drops something, she’ll need her caregiver to get it.
She’s Having a Hard Time Keeping Track of Medications
After her surgery, she has a lot of medications to take. Plus, she’s trying to keep track of when she took pain medications, as her surgeon has her rotating doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain management.
Hire caregivers to help track when the next pill can be taken. Her caregivers can alert her when it’s time to take her next antibiotic, blood pressure medication, or other necessary prescription.
Ambulation and Mobility Are a Struggle
Is your mom not supposed to move around too much? She may have a hard time standing up after sitting unless she has help. Caregivers can help her stand up, sit down, and get out of bed.
Pet Care Has to Be Avoided for Now
While your mom is healing, she may not be able to handle pet care. Some caregivers can help out with tasks like feeding the pets or letting them outside for bathroom breaks. If this would be helpful, it’s important to ask about it.
She Can’t Drive
While she’s healing, your mom’s surgeon may tell her to avoid driving. If she was given a prescription for pain medications, she cannot drive while using them. Someone else needs to drive her to follow-up appointments or to stores when she needs to go shopping.
Get a list of your mom’s post-surgical care instructions and call a home care agency. Make sure you have caregivers stopping by to do all of the tasks she can’t do for now.