As we age, the amount of time it takes to recover from an injury increases. A broken bone that takes a couple weeks to heal for a 20 year old could take many months to heal for a 60 or 70 year old. That is why it is important for senior citizens and the people who care about them to understand the healing process and take steps to provide the best opportunity for a full recovery.
Seniors can recover from even the most serious injuries, but they need the support of not only their doctors but their loved ones as well. Having a strong support system at home can speed the healing process, reduce the amount of recovery time needed and help the patient stay safe and comfortable.
One of the most important things loved ones can do to speed healing and improve recovery is to work closely with the individual’s doctor. Whether the injury is a broken leg, a fractured pelvis or something else, it is important to talk to the doctor about the expected length of recovery and what you can do to make your loved one more comfortable throughout the process.
If you can, try to accompany your senior loved one to every doctor appointment. This will give you a chance to ask questions and understand the entire recovery process from start to finish. Accompanying your senior to the doctor is always a good idea, but it is even more essential if your loved one suffers from memory problems or any type of cognitive decline.
The healing process requires a concerted effort on the part of the patient, and having you along for support can improve recovery times and reduce complications. If your senior needs to take medication as a result of the injury, you can help make sure they stay compliant and take their pills properly. Whether you lay out the weekly prescriptions in a medication minder or hand out the pills yourself, you can do a lot to help your senior loved one comply with the wishes of the doctor.
Making adaptive changes to your home or the home of the senior can also speed the healing process and help them recover more quickly after an injury. If the injury was the result of a fall, preventing a recurrence is essential. Outfitting the bathtub with grab bars, adding a sturdy frame to the toilet and buying a power lift chair can all enhance safety and comfort.
If your senior will be staying in your home while they heal, talk to the doctor and medical staff about safety enhancements. If the senior will be returning to their own home, you may want to have a visiting nurse or live-in assistant for the duration of the recovery. The doctor can provide guidance and help you find suitable nursing care for your loved one.
No one wants to be injured, but falls and other accidents happen every day. Knowing what to do next can make all the difference in the life of a senior loved one, so do not be afraid to take the lead and seek the knowledge you need. Seniors can recover from their injuries, but they need the support of their loved ones throughout the healing process.