It’s estimated that around a quarter of adults 70 or older suffer from heart disease. For those who need surgery, the recovery may seem overwhelming. Even with an excellent medical team, once that older adult is back home, worries of “what if” may start happening. Stress isn’t helpful, but it’s hard not to be stressed during your recovery, especially if you live alone.
If your mom or dad needs heart surgery, it’s essential to make sure there’s a strong support team waiting at home. This includes helpful caregiver services to assist with errands, housekeeping, organization, and transportation. Home health care services are also important. Wound care is one of the most important home health care services to consider.
What is Wound Care?
After heart surgery, there’s bound to be an incision. The type of incision depends on the surgery, but there can be internal and external incisions. There can also be incisions where wires and chest tubes were placed.
All incisions must be cared for to prevent infection. While you’re recovering, it may be hard to do this on your own. You may not have family members or friends who are comfortable offering this level of care. A home health care nurse can check the incision, change bandages if needed, and monitor for infection.
Signs of infection will vary but can include a seeping or oozing incision, red and hot skin around the incision, a fever, or an incision that seems to be opening instead of closing. The nurse will also make sure the stitches haven’t started to pop, which is a sign that your mom or dad may be lifting more than they were told is acceptable.
Other Services That Helps During the Recovery
The nurse can check your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. That can help keep track of how your heart is doing and catch warning signs early. Nurses can also help you check your blood sugar levels, administer IV medications, and manage your prescription medications and pain relievers.
If your diet needs adjusting, which is likely, you could have a nutritionist come to your mom or dad’s home and work with the family and caregivers. You’ll all learn more about the foods your mom or dad cannot eat and the ones they need to eat more of.
To arrange for caregiver services, call our caregiver agency. The home care specialist can walk you through the services that may benefit your mom or dad as they heal. You can always add or reduce services as your parent recovers.