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Going Home Alone After Surgery


Going under the knife is never fun. The sooner a person is able to return home to complete the recovery, the faster it will be .Being in a comfortable familiar environment, surrounded by the things that make you happy is proven to offer the mental and physical benefits that speed up recovery. Recovery is a slow, measured process and care needs to be taken not to do anything that could affect how it progresses. 

If you live with your family, there will be people around you to care of you and help you get back on your feet. However, more and more people are today what are called “Solo Adults.” That is a person who lives independently and is often happier if not surrounded by people all the time. If you are one of these, or know someone like that, there is nothing wrong and you, or they, are not a hermit. You just like your privacy. It is only when you return home after surgery that problem arises.

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Home Alone

When your surgery was planned your doctor would have asked you about your home life and will take into account that you live alone when scheduling your return home. There are some things you can do that could help the doctor advance the date of your return. These include:

  • If you will need a nurse, health aide, physical therapist or other support during your recovery, make arrangements for this before you go to the hospital.
  • Rearrange the house so that you don’t have to climb stairs. Sleep in a downstairs bedroom. If there isn’t one, create a place to sleep.
  • After some procedures, special equipment may have to be used. If you will need crutches or a wheelchair, oxygen tanks, elevated toilet or shower seats and so on, have them all in place before you go to the hospital.
  • Arrange for friends and loved ones to visit you regularly. No matter how much you value your independence, being alone and stuck at home while recovering can be depressing. They will also be able to help you with the unexpected and things you have not prepared for in advance.
  • Ensure that your pantry and kitchen are well stocked so you don’t have to go shopping. Ask the doctor about post-operative diet restrictions and include this in your shopping list.
Getting Home

The operation is over, and your home is ready for you. Now the question arises of how you get there. Doctors often advise against car travel during the recovery period. That rules out having a friend take you home or calling for a taxi. Public transport is obviously out. You can’t use an ambulance because going home after an operation is not a medical emergency. The safest and most convenient way to return home is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT companies have specially equipped vehicles and trained drivers to transport those recovering from an operation to their homes or any other place they may need to go. Once you are back home, NEMT will be available to transport you wherever you may need to travel to until such time as you are able to resume driving or using public transport. Contact an NEMT company to find out more and make your transport arrangement before you go in for your operation.


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