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The Carer Role
Your role as a carer will be most important in the two weeks immediately after the surgery when your patient will be affected by the operation and they will be getting used to using crutches or something similar. There will be ways you can really help at other times too.
This may include:
- Doing (or arranging for) shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning etc,
- Providing transport to and from appointments with doctors and other health professionals – maybe keeping track of the appointment times and locations too
- Managing medications: picking up prescriptions and perhaps keeping a record of medications; sometimes you may be needed to give the medicine/s
- Changing dressings and making sure there are enough dressings on hand
- Communicating with the doctors and other healthcare professionals to satisfy the patient’s questions, your questions and those of other caring family and friends
- Managing finances, perhaps handling health insurance paperwork or household bills
In the first few weeks out of hospital you may be needed to help with some of these:
- Assisting your ‘patient’ to move about – helping with the early use of any canes, crutches etc, helping them to move about from room to room
- Assistance and friendly support as they adjust to new physical therapy regimens that will help them to get the best possible results
- Helping them to dress, bath, groom or use the bathroom
This can be a challenging time for both you and the patient. Your help can be extremely important to this person you care about. You will be rewarded by seeing your patient enjoy greater mobility and less pain than before surgery. They will become increasingly independent and better able to enjoy the pleasures of daily life.