Best Ways for Post-Op Recovery for Seniors

women resting during post-op recovery for seniorsBest Ways for Post-Op Recovery for Seniors

If you have had surgery, there are a few things you should know that can optimize your recovery. Post-op recovery for seniors is similar and different to recovery from surgery for non-seniors.

Optimizing Recovery

Everybody who wants an optimal recovery from surgery has to know 3 things:

  1. Recovery from surgery takes time.
  2. It takes energy to optimizing post-op recovery.
  3. Your surgeon’s instructions for recovery must be followed.


Post-Op Recovery for Seniors

Seniors need a bit more care than non-seniors since:

  1. Seniors may be more sensitive to the discomfort.
  2. More emotional support is needed, but you might not ask for it.
  3. More types of help might be needed.
  4. A senior might be more frail and delicate and therefore at greater risk.

A good recovery from surgery is not simply going to happen by itself. Once you know that, then you can get the best benefit out of reading the following tips.

Top Tips for Post-Op Recovery for Seniors

These top tips can help you get back into tip-top shape yourself.

Breathing Exercises

Following surgery on the stomach, the spine, lung or heart, your surgeon might send you for breathing exercises therapy. These exercises strengthen the lungs and help recovery from the effects of the anesthesia. Do these exercises for as long as the surgeon orders.

Driving and Going Back to Work

You need a clear stated permission for these from your surgeon. Doing these activities before you are allowed to will only backfire and slow down your recovery.

Invest in Your Post Op Rehabilitation

A possibility for rehab should be seen as very valuable. Whether it is residential or outpatient, look upon it as a great opportunity and an investment in the future of your well-being. Come to therapy sessions and do all the exercises given to do in between sessions.

Eat and Drink Optimally

Invest thought into eating the right foods. For example, protein is very important after surgery or injury Try not to skip meals. If your appetite is shaky, snack on foods that you like, and when you eat, eat small meals, but  include the most nutritious foods. A dietitian can suggest what is best for you. Drinking water is essential. Water helps solve problems with constipation, dilutes the blood from painkillers and improves circulation.


Be a good girl or boy and take medication as prescribed. Don’t take more, don’t take less, don’t save it for your relatives and don’t try to be too brave and manage without. Ultimately, you will get off most, if not all post op-related medication. When you have to take it at the post operative stage, listen to what the surgeon recommends. Think of Mary Poppins, and the medicine will go down.

Keep Moving, But Not Too Much

Movement is very important for recovery from surgery. Staying in bed can bring its own problems, including clots and weakening of muscles. Rest when you need it, but otherwise try to put movement in where you can, when you can. The surgeon will give instructions for movement. Funnily enough “dosage instructions” for movement are similar to those we gave for medication! Don’t do too little, don’t do too much, don’t leave it for your relatives to do and don’t think you can manage without it.


Remember the old adage: “What you put in, is what you get out.”

There is a lot of truth in that as regards post op recovery for seniors.