The National Eye Institute reports at least 50 percent of men and women 80 or older have a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery. If your dad is undergoing the surgery, there are things he will need for his recovery.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts is a condition where one or both lenses in the eye becomes cloudy. It's caused when proteins in the fluid in the eye start to clump together and block areas of the lens creating blurred vision. Cataracts can make it hard to drive at night. Your dad may see glare forming around headlights and lamps. He may develop double vision or become unable to differentiate similar colors.
There is no cure for cataracts. Surgery usually isn't an option until vision is diminishing. Once that time comes, cataract surgery is a safe, effective option. It takes an hour and doesn't require your dad to go to sleep. He can undergo the surgery while awake with an anesthetic numbing the eye.
Make Sure Your Dad Has These Items for the Recovery
After his surgery, your dad will need to use eye drops to help with healing and to prevent infection. He may need a caregiver available to remind him when it's time to apply more drops. He also needs to avoid rubbing his eyes. Having another person around can help keep him from doing so.
Your dad cannot pick up heavier items. He shouldn't bend at the waist for a while. Make sure he has someone available to carry in groceries, bring in delivered packages, or lift the laundry basket. It can take up to eight weeks for him to heal, so he'll need a caregiver around for a couple of months.
Your dad may find light is bothersome at first. He may wear sunglasses throughout the day, even when he's inside. This can make it hard to complete certain tasks. A caregiver can prep and cook meals, help with housework, and find his preferred channels on the TV.
Most importantly, your dad needs a ride home from the surgery and to follow-up appointments. He will go home the same day as the surgery. He cannot drive, however. If he has cataracts in both eyes, he'll have two surgeries a few weeks apart. If you cannot drive him, hire a caregiver for transportation needs.
Caregivers help with more than rides and housework. Hire caregivers to provide your dad with a companion, too. He won't feel lonely and isolated. That's very important to a senior. Call a senior care agency to learn more about caregivers.
About the authors, Hilary and Greg Eldridge, owners of Home Helpers Home Care of North Atlanta.
Greg and Hilary Eldridge have been the owners and operators of Home Helpers Home Care of North Atlanta since 2012. After having personal experience with loved ones needing in-home care services, they were inspired to become a part of the Home Helpers Home Care team. Hilary has been a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) since 2013 from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, and Greg is a Certified Senior Advisor. Learn more about our owners and team here!