Tips for Spine Surgery Caregivers
Undergoing spine surgery can be an extremely difficult process, but patients may face even more challenges following the surgery. Those who have experienced spine surgery require care at home for at least a few months. Of course, how long care is required varies depending on the recommended recovery time.
If you are considering becoming a caregiver, it’s essential to understand the commitment. Being a caregiver to someone who went through spine surgery means caring for someone who will probably not do much independently. Taking the title of the caregiver is a big step. There are a couple of components to consider before taking the role.
- The role can be emotionally and physically challenging
- The role requires patience and compassion
- The role may take up a lot of time
- The role may require you to pitch in your resources and money
Here’s everything else you need to know.
Tips for Spine Surgery Caregivers
Once you consider the responsibilities of being a caregiver here are some tips that may help:
Have a Conversation about Caregiving Expectations
Before your loved one undergoes surgery, it’s beneficial to have a conversation about what to expect after the surgery. You know that it’s a commitment, but it’s important to know exactly what the commitment is. This conversation is where you discuss how much time you will give, what resources you can offer, and what you are not willing or capable of doing.
During this conversation, it would be good to talk about money. Many of us don’t like discussing money because it can be uncomfortable, but having this conversation can prevent future problems and arguments. Somethings to consider during this conversation are the following:
- How bills will be paid and who will pay them
- Grocery shopping
- Medication expenses
- Who will buy tools to make the home more accessible
Getting Their Home Ready for Recovery
People who undergo spine surgery come home with limited mobility. It’s because of their limitations that changes might be needed to make their home more accessible. You will need to make an area in the home for them to live without needing to strain themselves or go too far for anything. Consider the following:
- Make an area for them to sleep that is accessible to them
- Get a tool, like a grabber, for them to reach for objects
- Add grab bars in the bathroom
- Add grab bars in any other area they will frequent
- Get non-slip mats
These new adjustments might be hard on your loved one, but a nice touch is to decorate their recovery area. Bring all their favorite things to them so they are surrounded by encouragement.
Think of Ways to Pass the Time
Being in bed all day sounds like a dream, but it can get boring quickly. It can be frustrating to be unable to move or have limited mobility, so distractions are a huge help. To help your loved one through recovery, you can play games or work on puzzles. Getting creative is always fun. If they can, you can pass the time by painting or drawing. It might also be helpful to have a rotation of people to come to visit. The rotation will take into account people’s responsibilities and help the patient feel supported.
Take Care of Yourself
We’ve all heard it before: you can’t pour from an empty cup. This saying could not be more true when it comes to caregiving. Caregiving can be challenging, which is why as a caregiver, you should prioritize your health as well. It’s easy to get lost in the role. Take time for yourself when you can. If your loved one has visitors, let them take care of their family while you take the time to nap, eat, or go for a walk. You can only care for them if you also care for yourself.
Get Back Pain Relief at Orthopedics Laser & Spine Surgery
At Orthopedic Laser & Spine Surgery, our surgeons are leaders in the field dedicated to ensuring patients receive the best treatment available. Our physicians are pioneers of minimally invasive spinal surgeries. They have spent decades teaching their techniques to surgeons across the U.S. We prioritize our patients with personalized treatments and approaching conditions with the least invasive treatments.
At OLSS, our orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and physicians are experts in relieving pain and working collaboratively to restore function, increase mobility, and enable patients to regain their activities and lifestyles. Our multidimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment combined with our experienced medical team has made us leaders in the orthopedic field.