It is a scary time when someone you love gets surgery, and recovery can often be the most difficult part of the experience. As someone in the caregiver role, your responsibilities are probably new to you, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and under qualified. Take a deep breath and know that these feelings are normal. Get some guidance on how to be a confident and patient caregiver for the one you love.
It is crucial that you do as much preparation as possible when taking on a caregiver role for someone recovering from surgery. Ask the doctors what your loved will and will not be able to do after surgery so you can prepare the living space for every possible scenario (WebMD). For example, if climbing stairs is not an option, you may need adjust sleeping areas. Another part of planning ahead includes filling prescriptions and planning meals so you don’t need to do unnecessary runs to the pharmacy or grocery store (VeryWell Health).
Set a Care Calendar
Especially for very serious surgeries, it is important to have additional caregivers lined up if possible so that you don’t get burnt out. Having other people available to make meals, do recovery exercises, clean the home, or make store runs will help you to maintain energy and positivity throughout the recovery process (KindlyCare). The best way to do this is to create a shared calendar with the people who are willing to help so everyone knows what their responsibility is.
Honesty with your loved one who is recovering from surgery and with yourself about what you can do will make a world of difference. Being a caregiver is very difficult, and so is recovering from serious surgery. Emotions can run high for both parties, so honesty can help keep everyone calm and understanding of the other person’s situation. Allow yourself time to decompress so you can provide the best care possible. Try to schedule in a few hours each day to spend time alone to clear your head and refocus.
Being a caregiver is hard, but it can also be really rewarding. We hope these tips help you to embrace the role and feel good about helping the one you love to recover.