This is an illustrative story about a fellow we’ll call Doug and how he came to realize how helpful an in-home caregiver is after surgery.

A couple weeks ago Doug underwent spinal fusion surgery on discs 4, 5, and 6. The surgeon had warned him that the recovery would be painful.

After being released from the hospital two days after the surgery, Doug was in excruciating pain for three days. He hadn’t realized how bad it would be. He had also not opted for in-home care since he had asked the doctor, “Since I live alone, will I be okay on my own?” The doctor had assured him he’d be fine.

Doug soon came to realize however, that, in addition to the pain and the need for him to keep his head up and neck straight, minor activities that he never gave any thought to became major tasks. He was unable to clean up spills on the floor and or pick up dropped food. One night Doug accidentally dropped the TV remote and it ended up under the couch. He was finally able to locate and retrieve it, but it was a long, arduous process to slowly lower himself to the floor without bending his neck, and then reaching blindly under the couch until he found the remote control. Making the bed was exhausting. He was unable to use the dishwasher or open windows. Going down the steps to the mailbox was a frightening venture.

Doug changed his mind and engaged an in-home caregiver who came daily for a few hours in the late morning. Gemma would hand wash dishes as needed, load the rest in the dishwasher and run it one day, and unload it the next. She’d also prepared lunch and dinner — even after a few days, Doug was tired of the frozen chili rice bowls. Gemma also helped with laundry, picking up his prescriptions, and grocery shopping. She also took his Schnauzer Sammy for walks and cleaned out the cats’ litter box. (Doug likes the idea of having a caregiver take care of the latter task, even after he fully recuperates. 😉)

With Gemma’s help, Doug began to adjust and was recovering well from surgery. He performed his daily physical therapy exercises. And he learned to adapt: he transported heavier objects on his walker, and placed his laptop on a pillow or book to elevate it to the right height. To make changing clothes easier, he switched from t-shirts to button-down shirts.

Doug is much happier having a caregiver come visit even for a few hours each day. He “saves up” tasks he needs Gemma’s assistance with. He is much more at ease and comfortable. Just knowing someone is there when he showers gives him peace of mind. And he really enjoys her company. She has a positive attitude and it’s nice to have someone to talk to about his situation. He finds relief in “letting it all out”.

So, if you or your loved one is scheduled for surgery, you may want to consider arranging for an in-home caregiver, even for part-time. You may find it very beneficial to making recovery more comfortable and easier, just as Doug did.

Please contact A Peaceful Way Home Care if you are interested in using an in-home caregiver after surgery in the Palos Verdes, Torrance, and Los Angeles South Bay area.