If you’re a senior preparing for joint replacement surgery or another elective or scheduled surgical procedure, view this checklist, prepared by Erie's Springhill Senior Living short-term rehabilitative care expert Chip Comstock, RN.
For questions or more information about rehabilitative services at the 5-star ForestView Health Center in Erie, Pa., call 814-860-7143 or email Chip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask questions. Schedule a call or appointment with your surgeon or physician to get their specific advice. Ask them about potential complications that may occur, recovery time, any contraindications to the surgery or post-surgery restrictions and limitations. They may adjust your current medications, prescribe exercises or make dietary recommendations.
- Prepare physically. Exercise is almost always a good thing. Be in the best physical shape you can be. Check with your doctor first, as exercise can be contraindicated at times – especially for cardiac surgery.
- Nutrition matters. Your body will generally recover better if you fuel it with a healthy, balanced diet including protein and fruits and vegetables. Again, your doctor may have recommendations for this and may suggest a dietary or vitamin supplement.
- Prepare for post-op with a call to your insurer. Will you need to avoid stairs? Will you need any equipment like a walker or tub seat? Will you need help at home for laundry or shopping or to drive to follow-up appointments? Call your insurer and get specific about what they will and won't pay for. Ask them how much and what type of therapy will be covered and what your co-pay will be.
- Be well-rested and relaxed. It is generally a good idea to avoid caffeine, especially the day and night before. If you are anxious about the surgery, sometimes the doctor can recommend a medication or supplement to help you sleep. Ask your physician about resources for relaxation and visualization techniques that can help calm your mind and prepare you for what's ahead.
Download our Elective Surgery Pre-Op Prep Musts for Seniors.