Many of us know someone who has had to have some type of surgery. Maybe they had to have their wisdom teeth removed, needed a new hip, or needed open heart surgery. Even the most common surgeries can cause fear and uncertainty. One way we can support our friends is to create a thorough surgery plan as well as help our loved ones get into healthy habits so that their bodies will be able to heal more quickly after the surgery.
How to Support Someone After Surgery
Create a Good Surgery Plan
A surgery plan will help our loved ones feel more confident going into their surgery. Knowing what is going to happen and when it is going to happen can be a great comfort.
Figure Out All the Logistics
To grasp all of the practicalities that will be required, it is critical that we encourage our friend or family member to discuss all of the details of their upcoming surgery with their doctor. Logistics encompass all the elements that will affect our loved ones before or after surgery. This includes knowing how long they should fast before surgery, when the operation takes place, who will transport our loved one to the hospital, how long the surgery is expected to last, how long our loved one is likely to be in the hospital, and how they will return home afterwards. Finally, we must consider what kind of care and support our loved ones will require once they return home.
Creating Caring Care Packages
Once our loved one is home, we might send them an after-surgery care package to help set them up for success. Such care packages might be filled with food such as soup, tea, or even meals for the whole family, since after surgery, meal planning is low on anyone's list of priorities. We could help set up a meal train so lots of people can contribute to gift cards so that the person we care about can have whatever they feel up to eating. We might also provide a few items that bring comfort, such as fuzzy blankets, wonderful candles, or a nice heating pad. Finally, we might share coloring books or puzzle books to help keep our loved ones entertained while they recover from surgery.
Helping Create Healthy Habits
Once someone has had surgery, it is important to help them develop healthy habits so they will be able to heal quickly from their surgery and be less likely to need further surgeries. We might choose to focus on diet, exercise, or mental health.
A Healthy Diet
We all know we could eat better, but meal planning and making nutritious meals at home can be tough to fit into our busy schedules. However, nutrition is especially crucial after surgery. Sharing our favorite meals with those we care about is a terrific way to help them stay healthy. This may take the form of simply sending each other recipes we find, or it could take the form of meeting in person (or via zoom) and having a cooking party. Sharing recipes is an excellent method for keeping our loved ones healthy after surgery.
Finding The Fun In Fitness
For many of us, fitness has gotten a bad rap. We think of fitness only as going to the gym or running a marathon. In truth, while those are types of fitness, fitness also includes many fun and enjoyable activities. We might consider going for a long walk, a run, or a swim with those we care about. We might also consider a Zoom dance party to help everyone get some cardio in or do an at-home yoga program with friends.The more active our loved ones are, the better they will do in rehab after surgery.
Mental Health and Mindfulness
It is also important that we remember that mental health plays a key role in physical health. Stress, anxiety, or depression can all negatively impact our physical health. As a result, it is critical to promote mental health by talking about it and creating a safe space for our loved ones to discuss their challenges. We could also share our favorite ways to meditate or give our friend a nice journal to help them process what they are going through. The more our loved ones are aware of their mental health, the quicker their recovery from surgery will likely be.