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elder recovering from surgery speaking to doctor

How to Help Seniors Deal with Post-Surgical Depression

0 Comment Category: Foothill Heights

Recovering after surgical treatment can be an intensely emotional experience for anyone, including seniors. They may want to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible, but it takes time for the body to heal. This means that seniors will have to go through pain and discomfort in the meantime and may find it very difficult to move around. This can lead to post-surgical depression.

How to Manage Postoperative Depression

It is not clear what exactly causes post-surgical depression, but studies have highlighted a few factors that could contribute to it. The common ones among those include reactions to anesthesia and pain medications, lack of proper sleep, as well as physical, psychological, and emotional stress. People with a history of depression or anxiety issues are also prone to postoperative depression.

It is also seen that certain surgeries put seniors at a higher risk of developing post-surgical depression. This includes hip replacements, brain surgery, and cardiac surgery. Generally, seniors exhibit the following symptoms when experiencing postoperative depression.

  • Constant sad mood
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were earlier their favorite
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Considerable changes in sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Thoughts of self-harm

Studies show that postoperative depression can lead to a higher risk of infection, acute and chronic pain, as well as cognitive impairment if not treated in time. Therefore, it is important to ensure that seniors stay physically and mentally active after surgical treatment to stay healthy. Below are some ways to help your senior deal with post-surgical depression.

Establish Routines

Setting up healthy routines for your senior after surgery can help in speedy recovery. Therefore, make sure that your senior follows a proper routine to eat, sleep, and do other activities.

Vary their Environment

Physical workouts may not be possible after surgery, so a leisurely stroll can be an alternative for your senior. If they cannot move around freely, you can take your senior out in a wheelchair for some fresh air.

Healthy Diet

It is very important to ensure that your senior gets proper nutrition to manage their health post-surgery. So include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in their diet and cut the amount of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.

Induce Positive Thoughts

Engage your senior in activities that instill positive thoughts. You can play soothing music to cheer their mood, enjoy some fun and interactive games with them, or revisit old memories by checking out a photo album.

Ask for Help

You should make all efforts to stay connected with your loved one as they recover after surgery. A simple way to brighten up their mood will be to reach out to their friends and call some family members and relatives to visit as well.

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