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Home » Tips to Empower Caregivers—Before and After a Loved One’s Surgery

Tips to Empower Caregivers—Before and After a Loved One’s Surgery

You Can Help Make Life Easier for the Patient—and for Yourself!

The thought of caring for a family member after a hip replacement or other surgical procedure can be overwhelming. You want to help with the recovery process as much as possible, but you feel nervous and ill-equipped.

Don’t worry. First of all, your loved one is in the very best hands. Dr. Robert A. Kayal and his elite team are the best orthopaedic surgeons in Bergen County, NJ, and beyond. In addition, both the surgeons and staff at Kayal Orthopaedic Center will answer all of your questions and help you in any way they can.

If possible, you should attend doctor’s appointments and pre-surgery consultations with your loved one. When you’re familiar with the surgery and post-surgery plan, it allows you to offer support and be the best caregiver you can be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, share concerns and keep notes on important information that you and the patient will need.

Your loved one will be given detailed instructions about how to prepare for surgery. You should review these instructions together to make sure the patient understands and follows them.

What to Bring and What Not to Bring

Whether your loved one’s surgery will be outpatient or require a hospital stay, you can help gather the items to take along on the day of the procedure, including medical records, insurance cards, a list of medications and personal items. It’s also important to make sure the patient doesn’t bring along items that should be left home, such as cash and jewelry.

If you’re driving your loved one to and from the hospital or surgery center, you need to know what time to report and how long the procedure is expected to take. It also can be helpful to do a “dry run” and find out where to park and how much it will cost.

You’ll want to prepare your home in advance for your loved one’s post-surgery return. The goal is to make your home as safe, comfortable and convenient as possible—for the patient and for you. Here are some things you should consider:

  1. Focus on the bedroom. If stairs will be a problem, move your loved one’s bedroom to the first floor temporarily if doable. If there is no bathroom on the main floor, consider a portable toilet to avoid trips upstairs.
  2. Rearrange furniture to make it easier for your loved one to move around.
  3. Inspect your home for any safety hazards. This includes poor lighting and items that could cause your loved one to trip: throw rugs, electrical wires, footwear, stacks of newspapers or magazines and other miscellaneous items.
  4. Install safety bars in the tub or shower for easy gripping.
  5. Prepare healthy meals in advance. This will reduce your stress level and allow you to focus on other important tasks. Make sure to consider any dietary restrictions.
  6. Stock up on items you’ll need. For starters, consider medical supplies, food, personal care items, paper products and cleaning supplies.
  7. Make things easy on the patient. Provide easy access to the things necessary to follow doctor’s orders and be comfortable, including medications, fresh water, crutches, a wheelchair or walker, the phone, the TV remote, snacks and a favorite book or magazine.

Once you bring your loved one home, it’s important to closely follow all post-surgical instructions and to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Relax. You’re going to be an excellent caregiver!

The elite team of award-winning surgeons at Kayal Orthopaedic Center can handle all of your orthopaedic needs, including sports medicine in Franklin Lakes, NJ, and beyond. When you need orthopaedic care, you can make an appointment by calling 844.777.0910 or contact Kayal Orthopaedic Center by filling out this form.