Recovering from surgery is no easy feat, especially if you are living alone. The best option is to spend a few more days in the hospital post-op but, unfortunately, that can make your medical bills skyrocket. The next option is to continue your recovery at home. But if you are living alone, not having full physical mobility yet can make day-to-day activities quite challenging.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways you can manage. Here are some tips to make at-home recovery easier if you are living solo:
Consider hiring a home health care service
Aside from the elderly and terminally ill patients, home care providers also provide care for patients who are recovering from injuries and surgery. If you are living alone, it is highly advisable to hire a home health care service to help you out with your basic needs (bathing, eating, errands, etc.), as well as any medical needs you may have (changing the dressing, taking medication, physical therapy, etc.).
Make preparations at home before your surgery
Before your surgery, prepare your home to make it more conducive to recovery. Make sure to:
- Do as many cleaning chores as you can so that you won’t have to do them while recovering
- Finish the laundry and put your most comfortable clothes in the most accessible spots in your closet
- Prepare meals in advance and freeze them to avoid having to cook or ordering takeout while recovering
- Change your sheets
- Equip your bedside table with necessities (water, medication, tissues, wipes, medical supplies, etc.)
- Remove tripping hazards, especially in walkways and the bathroom
- Install a handrail near your toilet or in the shower if necessary
- Move furniture out of the way if your movement will be limited post-op
- If applicable, prepare your workspace (adjust the height of your seat, clear your desk)
- Finish lawn care tasks if necessary
- Prepare a room on the first floor if you won’t be able to climb the stairs after surgery
Seek help from your support system
Now is the best time to reach out to your friends and family for help. Recovering from an operation is a tough challenge in and of itself, and you’re going to need all the help you can get. Even if your friends or family members can’t stay at your house for too long, getting help with your basic needs, household chores, and errands can make a big difference.
Moreover, socialization with loved ones is an important part of the healing process. While you are recovering from your surgery, you likely won’t be spending too much time outside in the meantime. Hence, every little visit from your friends and family is a big help.
Prepare a list of emergency contacts
List down the contact numbers of the hospital, your GP, and your emergency contact person. Better yet, program them into your speed dial. In case you need to go to the hospital or have a pressing medical concern, you can easily call the right person within seconds.
Avoid any risky activity
It is crucial that you don’t do any risky activity while recovering from surgery, but it becomes all the more important if you are living alone. In case you injure yourself, you would have to wait for help instead of having someone who can assist you immediately. That said, follow your doctor’s orders and avoid doing anything that can put you at risk.
Improve your home security
While you are recovering from surgery, you are likely at your most vulnerable state, and this can make you a target for burglars. If they see you with visible signs of a medical condition, they can consider you as an easy target, especially because you are also living alone.
With this in mind, increase your security by:
- Installing security cameras, if you don’t have any yet
- Locking all of your doors and windows, even if you are at home
- Displaying home security signs around your property
- Turning on more lights at night to make the house seem busy
- Asking a friend, neighbor, or family member to drop by regularly
- Keeping all of your outdoor lights on at night
- Upgrading your home security system, if possible
- Not letting mail pile up on your doorstep
- Not posting about your surgery on social media while recovering
With these tips, recovery is bound to be easier, safer, and less of a hassle—even if you are living on your own. And although you are living alone, that doesn’t mean you have to go through the recovery process on your own—you have your support system to rely on, as well as your health care team.