Post-Surgical Care You Need in the Comfort of Your Home
Posted: 11/1/2021 12:52 PM by
If you’ve ever had a major surgical procedure, you know an essential part of the recovery process is to get a lot of rest and relaxation. The amount of time it takes to recover is largely dependent on things like the extent of your procedure, your age, and your overall health. Though the average person can often return to normal activities within a few days following minor surgery, patients undergoing a more extensive surgical procedure can often expect a long hospital stay followed by a recovery time of weeks or months before they’re able to fully function without any assistance.
Now for the good news—you don’t always have to stay in the hospital the entire time you are recovering from surgery. There are many in-home healthcare options that allow patients to return home and still receive the care and clinical oversight they need from a team of licensed medical professionals.
A Seamless Transition From Hospital to Home
When you’ve recovered enough from surgery that you no longer need to stay overnight in the hospital, your inpatient care team will begin the process of transitioning you to return home.
Following an extensive surgical procedure including most orthopedic surgeries, your doctor will likely recommend additional post-op care and rehabilitation services, most of which can often be provided in your home. Your doctor or a hospital caseworker may recommend a home health agency if you don’t have a particular one you’d like to use. However, you can always choose your own home health provider if you have a preference. If home health isn’t automatically recommended for you, you can always ask your provider to write an order for the services, especially if you feel extra care and medical oversight could be beneficial when you return home.
Your home healthcare team may be comprised of a mix of specially trained and licensed professionals including registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, physical therapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. Depending on your personal situation, a care plan could include one or more of the following healthcare, personal care and support services that are performed in your home:
- Skilled nursing services
- Wound care management
- Post-operative physical therapy
- Post-operative occupational therapy
- Post-operative speech therapy
- Management of drains or IVs left in place after surgery
- Assistance with bathing, using the restroom and getting dressed
- Medication management
- Meal preparation and planning
- Light housekeeping and assistance with laundry
- Assistance with grooming
What to Expect with Post-Surgical Care at Home
You will likely speak with a member of your home healthcare team before you leave the hospital or shortly after you return home. Your home healthcare team will work with you to schedule your first home visit for a time that works best for you and your family.
Your First Post-Op Home Health Visit
A licensed nurse, therapist, or certified nursing assistant will meet with you at your home for an initial in-home assessment. During your first visit, the member of your care team will do a complete physical. They’ll ask you questions about your current pain level, talk to you about the medications you’re taking, and they’ll assess any personal care needs and take note of safety concerns. You’ll have a chance to discuss your goals for recovery and they will review the treatment plan that your physician has prescribed. Due to the comprehensive nature of your first in-home visit, you can expect it to last about an hour or more, which is likely longer than any other typical visit by your home healthcare team.
Depending on your treatment plan, you may have one or more care team members that visit your home on a scheduled basis for treatment. All your visits will be scheduled in advance. Your designated home care team members will contact you if for some reason they aren’t able to arrive at the scheduled time each day or week. If something comes up and you are unable to keep your appointment, you can always reschedule with your team based on what works best for your schedule.
Communication With Your Physician and Ensuring Your Safety
During your course of treatment, your home health team will communicate with your physician regularly regarding updates on your progress and care. Home health nurses and therapists are trained to identify any medical issues before they become serious problems. Your care team will pass along any issues of concern to your physician and can perform many medical interventions in your home, so you may not have to return to the hospital for the care you need.
Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
Following extensive surgery, some patients can benefit from the assistance of medical equipment to help perform daily activities. Your home healthcare team can often assist you with obtaining and learning how to properly use walking aids like walkers, canes and wheelchairs, or bathroom aids like potty chairs, shower chairs, benches and seats. A variety of medical devices and durable medical equipment exist to help patients recover from surgery. Oftentimes, private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will help cover the cost of such equipment, as well.
The Difference is Home
Home healthcare offer patients access to the same high-quality healthcare services they receive inside a medical facility. Home health providers offer a seamless continuum of high-quality care for patients as they transition from a hospital stay to their home. A team of highly skilled providers works closely with each patient during their recovery, so they regain full function so they can safely return to the activities and life they enjoy. Home health offers patients the benefit of receiving the healthcare they need, but in a place that is comfortable and convenient, which is most often their own home.
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