how to care for your loved one after a colectomy

Take Over Some Of Their Responsibilities
After surgery, your friend or loved one may struggle with daily responsibilities that were once easy for them.

The most practical way to offer support is simply doing the things for them that they can’t do for themselves during their recovery.

Small things can go far when it comes to lending a helping hand. Offering to take their children to school, care for their pet, or cook a meal for them means that your friend or family member can rest and not take the risk of exerting themselves too much and risking re-injury.

Not only will their bodies be able to rest from the small tasks, but mentally, they’ll be able to rest and focus on their recovery.

Stay Available from Beginning to End
While your friend or family member is recovering from surgery, it’s easy to have good intentions from the beginning when the need is the greatest, but it’s important to remember to be there for the full length of their recovery.

Depending on the type of surgery, often the patient’s mobility will increase as they begin to feel better, but they are not yet completely healed. This is a great sign that recovery is going smoothly, but not a signal for the patient to return to their normal activities.

Make sure to be there to help take the trash out, or to carry the groceries until they are completely recovered. If it’s a friend that you don’t see every day, remember to call and check in toward the end of their recovery to see if they need anything. You may feel like you’re bombarding them with questions, but it will be a big help, in the long run, to make sure their recovery isn’t sabotaged by doing too much before they’re ready.

Be a Positive Distraction
In a recent study published by the Journal Psychological Science, researchers found that by distracting patients suffering from pain, they were able to eliminate the patient’s perception of pain temporarily.

When caring for a loved one after surgery, it’s important to keep them mentally engaged while they recover. Watch a movie with them, read or listen to an audiobook, or ask them to talk about a story from their past.

The positive distractions will do more than keep them occupied; it will help them recover faster.