As we age, our bones and joints begin to deteriorate. For this reason, many elderly people need to have replacement surgery. This surgery is common for body parts such as knees and hips. While this is a routine procedure for many elderly people, surgery comes with some risk. This is especially the case for older people. It is important to find a surgeon who has experience working with elderly patients. You should also make sure that your loved one is a good candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery. Special monitoring and care should continue post surgery.
Post surgery recovery is an important part of this process. Your loved one should receive help with this experience. Your loved one should receive the care needed to fully recover from surgery. Here, you can learn about proper care. Learn how neglect or abuse can affect your loved one’s ability to recover from surgery.
Joint replacement is a procedure that a lot of adults these days must undergo. As people age, their joints become weaker from the wear and tear of daily activities. Many elder adults find that they need hip or knee replacements to improve their quality of life. Sometimes elder adults that live in nursing homes are the ones that undergo this type of surgery. That means that after the surgery, it is up to the nursing home staff to help your loved one recover. Nursing home staff members and home caretakers should:
- Assist in bathing, using the bathroom, and getting dressed.
- Assist in moving around.
- Prevent bedsores by encouraging the elderly person to move at least every few hours.
- Administer medication at the correct times.
- Make sure that the elderly person is getting enough food and fluids.
- Assist with stretching and basic physical therapy exercises.
- Dress any wounds. Provide transportation to follow up appointments.
- Monitor recovery.
Problems After Surgery
Problems can arise after hip or knee replacement surgery. Some common problems include:
- Dislocation or loosening. The caretaker must assist the resident in daily activities while they heal from surgery. Failure to help the recovering residents could result in joint dislocation. Or, it could cause loosening of the joint because it was used too soon after surgery.
- Infection. Bacteria may enter the body during surgery or through cuts and bruises after the surgery has taken place. To prevent infection the resident’s doctor normally prescribes some type of antibiotic post surgery. This decreases the resident’s chances of getting an infection. If a caretaker fails to give the antibiotics because of neglect, an infection may occur. It could cause many complications. Also, bandages worn on the incision site have to be changed and the wound must be cleaned every so often. Failure to take care of the wound may result in infection as well.
- Blood clots. If a resident complains of pain or swelling in their legs or hips, blood clots may be the cause. If the staff ignores a resident’s complaints, those blood clots may be fatal.
While hip and knee replacements are common amongst the elderly, complications may still arise. This is the case if nursing home staff neglect or abuse the operated on resident. If you suspect neglect and abuse, report this abuse immediately.