Statistically, seniors are often considered a high-risk group when it comes to nearly any type of surgery. Therefore, it’s understandable for both older adults and family caregivers to have concerns if surgery is a possibility. While every situation is different, there are some instances when surgery is generally considered unsafe for seniors.
Chronic Health Issues Aren’t Managed Well
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 80 percent of seniors have at least one chronic health condition, although simply having a chronic condition doesn’t mean a senior can’t have surgery. However, such issues become a concern if diabetes, heart disease, or other common chronic conditions among older adults aren’t managed well, which could mean risks related to:
• Poor circulation
• Slow healing
• Post-surgery infections
Monitoring for symptoms of new or chronic health conditions is just one of the many ways a home caregiver can assist your parent. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Trust Align Home Care to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Weight Isn’t within a Healthy Rane
The American Society of Anesthesiologists is one of several leading organizations that link excess weight with increased surgical risks. If obesity is a concern, your senior loved one may be advised to make an effort to lose weight before surgery is discussed, especially if the procedure isn’t urgently needed. Doing so may even make surgery unnecessary if your loved one responds better to conservative care after losing some weight
There Are Mental Health/Cognitive Concerns
Seniors experiencing hallucinations and other mental disturbances are often advised to avoid surgery if possible. Older adults are also more likely to have issues with post-op confusion, which could further compound existing mental health or cognitive problems. A certain degree of mental clarity is usually preferred to ensure recovery instructions and guidelines are followed. For this reason, a mental health assessment is typically a part of the initial evaluation to determine if surgery is safe for seniors.
If your loved one undergoes a surgical procedure, he or she will likely need extensive assistance after returning home. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Portland, ME, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
Frailty or Lack of Strength Is a Concern
Normally used for injured athletes, a device called a hand-grip dynamometer may also be used to test a senior’s forearm and hand strength. In fact, the Journal of Vascular Surgery notes this simple test is an effective way to measure frailty. This information is important because it can give a physician or surgeon a better idea of whether or not an older adult has an increased risk of complications or readmission because of post-surgery falling possibilities.
Medications May Create Additional Risks
Seniors typically fill anywhere from 9 to 13 prescriptions per year. Again, this alone isn’t something that automatically makes surgery unsafe. However, if these medications include blood thinners or anti-inflammatory drugs being taken for other reasons, surgery may be considered unsafe because of increased bleeding risks. A possible solution is to temporarily stop taking problematic medications or adjust dosages.
There Are Post-Surgery Supervision Concerns
With seniors, some doctors are hesitant to recommend surgery if there are concerns about a lack of sufficient supervision during recovery. It’s important to have some degree of regular assistance and care following surgery to carefully monitor seniors’ recovery, remind them to take medications as directed, and look for infections and other possible issues. This is a problem that may be remedied with in-home care if family members aren’t available.
Seniors who’ve had surgery often need specialized care while they recover. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care service, Portland Align Home Care should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Align Home Care team at (207) 835-3490 today.