Recovering from Heart Surgery

Approximately 25% of people over 75 years of age suffer from symptoms of cardiovascular disease. This coupled with advances in pre and post-operative care and an increase in average life expectancy, have led to an increasing number of elderly people presenting as potential candidates for cardiac surgery.


Home Health Care in Guelph: Heart Surgery Recovery

Home Health Care in Guelph: Heart Surgery Recovery


Data shows that most cardiac surgery and procedures are able to be performed safely and with a satisfactory outcome, even in elderly patients, including coronary artery bypass, aortic and mitral valve surgery, and major surgery of the aorta.

Because heart surgery is not uncommon in seniors, you or your loved one receiving elderly care at home may feel some trepidation or anxiousness with the thought of any post-operative care responsibilities and how you can keep your senior comfortable and help them recover safely and as quickly as possible.

Every surgical candidate has unique needs and their own requirements for after-care, so check with your doctor for any specific guidelines they want your senior to follow after they are released from the hospital after surgery.


Here are a few general tips to make recovering at home as comfortable as possible and give them the best post-operative elderly care experience they can have.

  • They should be able to take showers after their pacing wires and staples are out, but don’t use very hot water and avoid soaking in baths until after their incisions are totally healed.
  • Have them wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. Shirts and blouses that button in the front may be helpful for ease in getting them on and off.
  • Limit the number of visitors coming to see your senior in the first few weeks after surgery. This lets them get an appropriate amount of rest that they need as well as limit the number of outside germs that they are exposed to.
  • It is recommended to avoid driving for about 6 weeks after surgery, however riding as a passenger should be permitted by their doctor.
  • It is very important to avoid lifting after heart surgery to prevent strain on the sternum while it is healing. Do not let your senior lift, push, or pull anything heavier than 10 pounds for six weeks after surgery. Their caregiver can assist with items such as moving groceries, housework, and other activities and tasks that they are unable to do.
  • Activity such as walking can be increased gradually but be sure that your senior paces themselves and does not try to do too much. Physical therapy is usually provided to seniors and they will give your loved one an individualized plan for physical activity in the weeks after surgery.
  • Some physicians or therapists may recommend that your senior use a heart-shaped pillow to splint the chest when deep breathing, coughing and getting in/out of chairs or bed for a minimum of four weeks. For those fortunate to be receiving elderly care at home, caregivers can remind and supervise them when moving around.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Guelph, please contact the caring professionals at  Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.





About Susan Di Michele

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