If you are or know a senior citizen who is either preparing to undergo or recently underwent surgery, you need to consider carefully the rehabilitation programs available to you. Some might question whether senior rehabilitation after surgery is even important, or if general rest and pain medication might suffice. After all, wouldn’t one of the best ways of recovering after surgery simply be returning to one’s normal routine and daily life as soon as possible?
Not so fast. Even for minor surgeries, a senior should undergo some level of rehabilitation before they’re able to get back to normal. Otherwise there’s an increased risk of repeat or chronic injury, or an overall lower quality of life.
Benefits of Senior Rehabilitation Programs After Surgery
Done properly, seniors who participate in post-surgery rehabilitation are able to enjoy:
- Faster return of prior mobility levels
- Reduced pain
- Lower stress levels
- Improved confidence
Of course, not all rehabilitation programs and specialists are created equal, and it’s worth determining the best sort of rehab that will bring your body back up to speed in the strongest and safest manner possible.
Types of Rehabilitation for Seniors After Surgery
Physical Therapy - If the senior’s surgery affected a particular part of the body, such as a limb, it can require re-strengthening before it can be used properly. More severe surgeries may even require you to re-learn how to walk and other basic physical activities altogether. Physical therapists use exercises to retrain a limb or body part and bring strength levels and movement ranges back to normal. This type of rehab is often performed for seniors who’ve had surgery on joints, knee or hip replacements, and other joint-related issues.
Dietary Rehab - Certain surgeries and their affect on or removal of certain organs may necessitate a change in dietary habits and general nutrition post-surgery. A dietitian can work with you to establish a new meal plan and discover alternatives to previous favorite foods (especially if you’re being required to reduce or eliminate dietary salt or sugar).
Occupational Therapy - Aside from dealing with the physical aftermath of a surgery, seniors may face challenges in daily routines, such as cooking for themselves, getting dressed, bathing, and operating devices around the home. An occupational therapist helps seniors learn the best way to handle everyday responsibilities and establish new routines that help keep up their comfort and quality of life.
Speech Therapy - Surgery on the head or neck can affect a person’s ability to speak properly, and a speech therapist can help restore proper functionality to the tongue and throat, as well as issues with cognition, voice control, and swallowing.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation - When a senior has undergone surgery on the lungs, rehab is usually needed to bring back normal levels of lung performance and restore breathing control.
Rehabilitation Locations for Seniors After Surgery
At Home - Many surgery rehabs are able to be performed by specialists who visit one’s home, whether you live in a private dwelling, in a long-term care facility, or otherwise. In fact, many long-term care solutions offer onsite rehabilitation programs for seniors recovering from surgery.
Short Term Care Center - Some surgeries may be best dealt with by having the senior live for a certain period in a temporary care center where they can enjoy round-the-clock medical monitoring and response, as well as active participation in rehab programs. These centers often usually provide meals and counseling, plus social activities alongside the rehab. Magnolia Manor operates programs like this.
Many seniors want to maintain a sense of control and ownership over their rehabilitation after surgery, and it’s best to know the many different types and availability of these programs. By choosing the best post-surgery rehabilitation program and location, seniors are able to increase their chances of successful program completion and a return to life at a comparable level of comfort and performance prior to the operation.
Every Magnolia Manor campus is unique, but each of the four that include senior rehabilitation options offers a wealth of opportunities for seniors to regain their strength to continue living a full life. We’d love to show you around so you can see for yourself. Call us any time at 1-855-540-LIFE (5433) to schedule a tour.