May is Older Americans Month and this year’s theme is “Age My Way.” Your mom has breast cancer. She’s about to undergo a mastectomy. After that, she’ll be undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
One of her greatest wishes is to avoid having to stay in the hospital for days. She wants to be in her home as much as she can. She’s very determined to age her way. How do you make that happen?
Talk to Her Medical Team
Before making any decisions, sit down with your mom and her medical team. Ask what she should expect during and after the surgery. Find out how long a hospital stay she faces and if you can get her home sooner.
One way to do this is by making sure there are home health care nurses lined up to help out when she returns to her home. If her doctors know she has medical support at home, she’s more likely to be given the approval to go home where she can recover in a comfortable setting.
What Does Home Health Care Cover?
When your mom goes home, she’s going to have drains that help fluid drain from the surgery site. Her incision will be covered. Her home health care nurse can change the bandages as instructed, check for signs of infection, and make sure the drains are doing their job.
What if the incision does become infected? When caught early, IV antibiotics may help. Her doctors will decide. If antibiotics are an option, your mom’s nurse can set up the IV in your mom’s home rather than make her go back to the hospital.
Pain management is important. She can have her nurses keep track of when she takes the medications. If she has negative reactions to the medications she’s given or they’re not effectively managing her pain, the home health care nurses can consult with her doctors and discuss other options.
Your mom needs to be active. She needs to limit her activities and avoid lifting heavy objects, but it’s important that she gets up and walks around. If she’s on pain medications that make her feel dizzy, it helps to have a nurse who is there to monitor her for unusual side effects.
Getting Started With Home Health Care
How do you get started? It takes a phone call and discussion with your mom’s doctor. After that, the specialist in home health care services will walk you through scheduling the required services.
Arrange home health care services as soon as you know your mom needs them. When she’s supported after a hospitalization, surgery, or illness, your mom won’t feel alone or like she’s struggling. Home health care can lower the odds of your mom returning to or having to go to the hospital. Call to learn more.