Medical Transport Tips
Every year, over 15 million surgeries are performed on patients over the age of 65, and having an elderly parent who require surgery can be an anxious experience. Typically, seniors are not a strong as younger people and are therefore more prone to complications, both during and after surgery. However, ensuring your parent is fully prepare to undergo the procedure will improve the odds for a successful surgery. Additionally, understanding what to expect will help reduce the feeling of anxiety for your parent as well as you. Here are a few pre-op tips to help you and your elderly parent feel more secure while being safer both during and after surgery:
Do Your Research
The single most important thing you can do for you parent, and your own piece of mind, is to research every angle of the procedure. Discuss all potential risks and complications with the surgeon. Make it a point to understand the type of anesthetics that will be used, how long the surgical procedure will last, how long the recovery will take and what it will be like. Understanding all of these issues will help reduce the possibility of unexpected post-op complications.
Prepare a Full Medical History
Aging parents may have a long, and often complicated, medical history. Organize and store all health records and information so it is readily accessible. Instead of keeping stacks of documents in a pile of folders, set up a computerized document that maps family histories, diagnoses, treatments, important dates and other relevant information. Try to be as thorough as possible, as you never know what information will be relevant in the future.
Keep Medications Organized
As with their medical history, an aging parent may also be taking more than a few medications. Don’t try to rely on memory alone to communicate this critical information to your parent’s physician. Keep an accurate and up-to-date written record of all medication and be sure to include any vitamin and mineral supplements as well as any and over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies. It is vital to ensure that nothing your parent is taking be left out, as some of the most seemingly innocuous preparations can cause complications during surgery. You should keep this on your computer also, and then just print out a current version of the list to give to your parent’s doctors.
Follow Instructions Closely
There are some very valid reasons for you parent’s doctor providing detailed pre-op instructions. Whether fasting the night before, not consuming liquids in the hours prior to surgery or not taking certain medications, your parent needs to follow their physician’s instructions to the letter. Disregarding the instructions can not only lead to having to reschedule the surgery, it could result in dangerous complications, or worse.
Creating a support team of family members and friends is sound advice that can go a long way in making the entire ordeal as stress-free as humanly possible. Reach out to family members and close friends for assistance with meal planning and preparation as well as watching over you parent during recover.
Of course, you will need to arrange for transportation to and from the hospital on the days of admittance and discharge, as well as during the recovery period. As a rule of thumb, a senior may require two days of rehabilitation for every day spent recovering in the hospital. If you won’t be able to drive your parent to therapy sessions yourself, you should be sure they will have a safe and reliable form of transportation from a family member, friend or a professional medical transportation provider.
If you have long-distance transportation needs, ACC Medlink provides the best-in-industry patient transport services. Whereas other patient-transport companies have only one or two drivers, ACC Medlink provides a nurse and two drivers to accompany their patients to ensure top-quality care throughout every trip.