Seniors Postponing Elective Procedures – Is Now the Right Time?

masked senior man talking with health professional

During a pandemic, your doctor can provide guidance on weighing the risks of an elective procedure against the risks of postponing it.

The COVID-19 pandemic put our world on pause, including, among a great number of other activities, medical appointments and procedures. In fact, approximately one-half of all adults either canceled or put off routine medical care and elective procedures since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, leading physicians to grow concerned about the effects.

While we tentatively aim for a new normal, it is beneficial to speak with your physician about any procedures you might have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to the following questions that will help you gauge the safety of doing the procedures now.

  1. Is the medical facility where I’ll be cared for also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical professionals who will care for me also taking care of the COVID-19 patients? If that’s the case, what precautions have been put into place to guarantee my protection?
  2. What are the facility’s cleaning/disinfecting protocols?
  3. Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 prior to my procedure?
  4. Are medical team members being tested for COVID-19? If so, how often?
  5. Do I need to wear a mask? Gloves? Any other personal protective equipment?
  6. Are there any items which are restricted from being brought with me, such as clothing, books, a phone or laptop?
  7. Can I complete paperwork beforehand?
  8. May I wait outside or in my car until I am called in for my procedure?
  9. Can a member of my family or caregiver accompany me and stay for the duration of the procedure and recovery?
  10. Is my follow-up appointment provided in person, or am I able to make use of telehealth?

In addition, there are post-procedure considerations to think through. Many individuals face concerns in regards to the possibility of contracting COVID-19 after being in the hospital. Talk with your physician about the need to self-monitor for symptoms, along with any additional precautions you may want to take, such as avoiding contact with other people for a period of time, wearing gloves or a mask in the home when others are present, additional sanitizing measures necessary, etc. The doctor may recommend taking your temperature and oxygen levels at home. If that’s the case, make sure you purchase a thermometer and pulse oximeter prior to the procedure.

Once you are satisfied with the answers you have received and with the assurance that the procedure is safe to schedule, connect with Midnight Sun Home Care for assistance. Our transitional care services can help make sure everything is taken care of before, during, and after your procedure, including transportation, picking up prescriptions and groceries, helping you get settled upon your return home and monitoring for any variations in condition, and much more. Serving Anchorage, AK and the surrounding area, the best senior help is just a phone call away. Call Midnight Sun Home Care at (907) 677-7890 and see our full service area.

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