In many cases, the beginning of caregiving at home occurs when the patient is discharged from a medical facility. Both the patient and the family may find it challenging to adjust to home life if there are significant changes in the patient’s condition compared to before hospitalization. When considering home caregiving, it’s important to be aware that preparation begins during the hospitalization period.
Preparing Care Items and Medical Equipment
Another essential factor to consider when preparing for Post-operative Home care is the preparation of medical equipment. Most decisions about preparing the home should balance the needs of both the caregiver and the patient. Eliminating barriers for the caregiver leads to less stress and more time for important moments together. A physician can help determine specific equipment and supply needs, and prescribe if required.
Some of the Standard medical equipment:
Oxygen equipment, BiPAP and CPAP machines and masks, Ventilators, Hospital beds, Wheelchairs, Walkers, Crutches
Oxygen Saturation and Blood Pressure Monitors etc.
Learning the methods of caregiving and medical treatments
Additionally, it’s essential to learn the caregiving methods, such as wound care and enteral nutrition, before discharge. Understanding proper techniques for sheet changes, body wipes, and diaper changes that minimize discomfort for the patient and reduce the caregiver’s burden is important. Although what is learned in the hospital may not always go smoothly at home, visiting nurses can provide guidance.
Utilizing Visiting Nurses and Caregivers
Home caregiving requires daily attention, and while it has its challenges, caregivers can face significant physical and mental burdens. To ensure long-term caregiving, it’s important not to overburden yourself. Seeking help from home helpers for some caregiving tasks, having visiting nurses for medical treatments and care, periodic check-ups, or learning home caregiving methods can help distribute the caregiving load. Using bathing services, if necessary, can also alleviate the caregiver’s burden. Since these services fall under the care insurance system, consult with a care manager to decide which services to use and how to use them.
Arranging the Home Environment
The room where the patient spends most of their time at home (living space) is crucial for daily life. Adjusting the environment of this room reflects on the patient’s recovery and encourages an active convalescent lifestyle. While space may be limited, discussions between the patient and family are recommended to decide on the room’s setup.
The room that served as a bedroom is ideal for convalescence, considering factors such as a quiet and calming atmosphere, visibility for family members, proximity to the toilet and bathroom, and low caregiver burden. Adjust the room temperature and humidity according to the season to ensure the patient’s comfort. During the day, spending time in another room, like the living room, can be beneficial.
Managing Indoor Conditions in Summer and Winter
In summer, maintaining an indoor-outdoor temperature difference within 5°C is recommended, with 25°C being a suitable temperature. Be cautious with air conditioning to prevent direct airflow onto the body. Using fans should also be done to avoid continuous direct airflow. In winter, adjust the indoor temperature to around 20°C. Ventilate rooms heated by gas stoves or kerosene heaters regularly due to indoor air pollution from combustion. Using humidifiers to keep indoor humidity above 50% is advisable with air conditioning.
Continuous closure of indoor spaces can lead to unpleasant odors for both the patient and caregiver and may harbor viruses. It’s crucial to exchange indoor air regularly. Even when using heating or cooling, open windows for 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours. Opening windows on opposite sides to allow airflow is effective.
If indoor odors are a concern, placing charcoal (long-lasting or bamboo charcoal) or various deodorizers can be effective. Using indoor deodorant sprays or essential oils occasionally, if the patient doesn’t mind, is also an option.
The bed, where the patient spends most of their time, should be comfortable, easy for the patient to rest in, safe (with features like side rails), easy to keep clean, and convenient for caregiving. Whether to use a futon or a bed depends on the patient’s preference. However, for long-term care, a bed may be more advantageous, reducing caregiver movements and making it easier for the patient to get up.
Choosing a Bed
Consider the height based on whether caregiving covers all aspects of daily life or if the patient can sit by the bedside. Different bed heights suit the patient getting out of bed to sit or stand and the caregiver providing care to a patient lying in bed. If the patient sits on the edge of the bed, both feet should touch the floor firmly. The choice of bed depends on the height of the patient and caregiver.
Beds that allow adjustment of the upper or lower body position can reduce caregiver burden. Many of these beds come with easy-to-use electric buttons. Casters can also be beneficial for ease of bed movement.
Choosing a Mattress
Opt for a mattress with good ventilation. Spring mattresses that do not sink in the back or buttocks area, providing elasticity, or high-resilience mattresses are comfortable for extended periods. For those unable to turn themselves and at risk of pressure sores, consider using pressure-relief mattresses or air mattresses that alternate pressure on different body parts.
Installing side rails helps prevent falls from the bed, adding an extra layer of safety. When turning the body sideways, side rails can be convenient for stability.
Place the bed in a position where the patient’s condition can be easily observed upon entering the room. Considering the ease of caregiving, leave enough space on both sides for people to enter and work.
Why choose Care24?
Postoperative care at home is crucial for a successful recovery. Depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s condition, Care24 services ensure the prevention of complications, promote healing and ensure the patient’s overall well-being. Monitoring for signs of infection, following prescribed medications, and maintaining a proper diet are essential components of postoperative care that contribute to a smoother recovery process.
Additionally, the Care24 service provides emotional support, and adherence to activity restrictions plays a significant role in optimizing the outcomes of the surgical procedure.