Creating a comfortable and functional recovery space is essential if you are caring for a loved one after major surgery. Although flowers and balloons are a cheerful contribution to a patient’s emotional health, there is a lot more to think about when preparing his or her recovery room. Here are a few details to consider, ranging from comfort and entertainment to hygiene and safety.
Prepare the Room
Your loved one’s room will need to be modified for post-operation needs and safety. Start by decluttering the room to eliminate any stressors or safety hazards. Remove cords that can be tripped on and put down rugs on slippery surfaces. Make sure all pathways are clear and wide enough to fit a wheel chair or walker.
Make sure the bed is low enough to the ground that your loved one can get in and out without straining. If the bed is too high, look for a shorter bed frame. In addition,recliners are great for recovering patients because it gives them a chance to get out of bed while still resting.
Place a nightstand or side table next to the bed and other sitting areas. These can hold a pitcher of water and a glass, hand wipes, Kleenex, lip balm, lotion, throat lozenges and any other frequent necessities. This way, the patient doesn’t need to get up and down or reach for items as often. Also, a table tray can help with meals and books or magazines.
Focus on the lighting in the room. Nightlights are good for the grogginess of pain medications and nighttime bathroom trips. You don’t want your loved one taking any risks by walking around in the dark. Also, think about letting natural light in during the day to lift your loved one’s spirits and employing blinds or curtains to darken the room for naps and resting times.
Think About Safety and Hygiene
Get instructions from the doctor as to what medical supplies you will need, such as ace bandages, gauze, tape or ice wraps. Use a pill organizer to make sure your loved one takes the right pill at the right time. Also, ask aboutsafety items for the bathroom such as toilet risers, handrails or chairs.
For personal needs, make room on a lower shelf in the bathroom for your loved one and stock it with wash cloths, hand towels, deodorant body wipes and pre-moistened facial cleansing cloths. Sometimes patients are weak and have trouble brushing their teeth, so get him or her an electric toothbrush along with toothpaste and mouthwash.
Don’t Forget Entertainment
As your loved one begins to recover, he or she will have more energy to do things and may start to get bored.Splurge on a tablet, and put some games, movies, books and puzzles on it. This can help keep your patient’s spirits up and prevent boredom.
Your loved one also may enjoy being pampered. To help with this, make time to give her a manicure or pedicure, to do her hair and do her makeup. If this is too much for your loved one, show your love with a fluffy robe, new pajamas, soft socks and plenty of blankets.
If he or she is having trouble sleeping, try spraying a lavender-vanilla pillow mist on the pillow to create a relaxing environment. Many recovering patients also areturning to therapeutic pillows. These are designed to give the patient extra support to help alleviate pain and add comfort.
A comfortable post-op recovery room can make a big difference. Not only does it help with the recovery process, but it gives you the peace of mind knowing that your loved one’s care is being done right.