Going into surgery is a nerve-wracking experience for anyone, but it can be especially scary for older adults who know they are “high risk.” It is ironic that we become high risk for surgery right when we’re getting into a time of life when many of us need surgery more: over half the surgeries performed in the U.S. are done on people over 65 years old. The good news is, even though it is a fact that the elderly do face higher risks of complications when going into surgery, that doesn’t mean they have to expect the worst. Health care facilities are better at caring for the elderly than they have been in the past, and outcomes just keep improving.

A key part of any surgical operation is the recovery. In fact, it is the biggest, longest part of the process and can include complications. That is where we come in. Justice Healthcare Group proudly provides Texans and their loved ones with world-class home healthcare. We come from a hospital background, so we are very familiar with the challenges that the elderly face when it comes to surgery. In today’s blog, we want to look at the unique risks that the elderly face in surgery.

Understanding the Risks of Surgery for the Elderly

First of all, who is “elderly”? What are we talking about when we use that term? Well, you have to be 65 years old or older in order to formally be considered elderly. If you feel like this number is a bit outdated, you are correct. There are people running marathons in their 70s and 80s! The average American lifespan has increased, and people are staying active and healthy longer than ever. The fact remains, however, that the medical world will view you as “geriatric” or elderly if you are 65 years or older.

How Lifestyle Affects Physiological Age

The harder you are on your body during your lifetime, the quicker it will break down. That means, no matter what number your age is, you have a lot of control over how your body ages. Let’s say you have some elderly twins headed into the hospital for hip replacement surgery.

  1. One of the twins eats healthy food, participates in activities for an hour each day, and made adjustments to her diet when she learned she had high cholesterol. As a result, she doesn’t need medication.
  2. This twin smokes every day, eats an unhealthy diet, and leads a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, she is on medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol and has been told she is at risk for developing diabetes.

As you can imagine, an operation is very different for these two women. They might be the same age, but the second one’s body has aged a lot more than the first one, making her a higher risk. The healthier twin will get through the operation more easily and likely recover much faster. This is good news. It means you have more control over the way your body ages than you may think. You have a lot of power!

Turn to Justice Healthcare Group

Recovery from surgery is key to getting the best results. It’s all about what happens after you leave the hospital. At Justice Healthcare Group, we’ve worked in hospitals and seen patients leave the hospital after surgery but return due to complications they didn’t know how to handle. An unexpected, additional stay at the hospital is never easy on the pocketbook. That is why we bring professional healthcare into your home. We are on a mission to make your recovery as smooth and safe as possible. Contact our health aide team in Texas today!