Bouncing Back: 7 Tips to Help Seniors Have a Smooth Recovery After Surgery

Berries and Oats

Many seniors today are discharged from the hospital after surgery well before they’re ready and able to return home safely. Often, additional time, support and care are needed for them to fully recuperate post-surgery. 

For many seniors, short-term rehabilitation, such as the RenewAll Short-Term & Medically Complex Care, provides an ideal solution as a critical bridge between the surgery in the hospital and a safe recovery and return home.


The Value of Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

Developed specifically to support successful recoveries after surgery, Short-Term Rehabilitation combines medical management with physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing care and other rehabilitation specialties to help seniors reduce post-surgical complications and achieve optimal health and functionality before going home.

Short-Term Rehabilitation is also beneficial for other family members who may be reluctant or ill-equipped to handle the care needs of their loved ones shortly after surgery.

Says Janet McNemar, NHA, MBA, Executive Director at Bryn Mawr Terrace, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, “In addition to the surgical recovery expertise provided by our RenewAll team, there are other helpful steps family members can take to assist their senior loved ones after they return home.”


7 Tips to Help Your Senior Loved One Recover After Surgery

Experts on post-surgery care and rehabilitation for seniors offer the following suggestions for family members and caregivers that can aid older loved ones in their recovery:

  1. Purchase items they’ll need for their recovery at home – Talk to your loved one’s doctor or surgeon about what special supplies they’ll need as they continue their recovery at home. Depending on their surgery, these items can run the gamut from wheelchairs and elevated toilet seats to post-surgical compression socks and dressings.

    Consult with their health plan provider, e.g., Medicare, to determine which items are covered by insurance.

  2. Plan ahead for their homecoming – Preparing the home for your senior’s return home can facilitate a safer, faster recovery. Clean the house and remove any hazards that could cause slips and falls and also limit their movements. Also, place their frequently used items such as phone, TV remote and favorite reading materials within easy reach to make their recovery as easy and comfortable as possible.

  3. Stock up on nutritious, easy-to-prepare foods –You can also support your senior loved one’s recovery by providing them with nutritious foods that include fiber, lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Meals that require minimum preparation are also helpful. Medical experts say that good nutrition aids surgical recoveryby boosting the immune system, helping incisions to heal, replacing blood loss and repairing skin, nerves, blood vessels, muscles and bones.

  4. Adhere to the doctor’s orders for recovery – Be sure that your senior loved one follows the instructions for their recovery. Some seniors may try to do too much after surgery, which can be dangerous, while others might be less motivated to follow their recovery plans. Consult with their physician as needed to ask questions or express any concerns that you have. It is also wise to accompany them to their post-surgery appointments to provide a second pair of ears.

  5. Enlist the help of friends and family – Caring for a senior after surgery can take time and effort. Therefore, ask other family members and friends for their support. They can do grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions and perform other tasks that can make your job easier.

  6. Monitor their physical comfort – Seniors take longer to recover from surgery than younger people and may experience more discomfort. Talk to your senior loved one about how they feel and encourage them to be forthright about their pain. If their level of pain and discomfort is concerning, contact their physician’s office for instructions.

  7. Be patient, empathetic and compassionate – Post-surgical recovery for seniors can also be a stressful time with feelings of hopelessness being common. Therefore, it is vital to give them the continuous encouragement, positive reinforcement and understanding they need to complete their recovery successfully.


Janet adds, “By incorporating these tips into your senior loved one’s post-surgery plan, you can pave the way for their smooth and speedy recovery.”

For more helpful senior living and senior care information, we invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics.


We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, “Bouncing Back: 7 Tips to Help Seniors Have a Smooth Recovery After Surgery,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering a range of services – including Short-Term Rehabilitation, Traditional Nursing Care, Independent Living, Personal Care, Memory Care, Restorative Care and Respite Care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. 

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at 610.525.8300 or contact us online.

 Voted Best of the Main Line 2020 by Loyal Readers


Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician. 

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