Community Blog

What Can Your Parent Do to Prepare Their Mind for Heart Surgery?

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Home Care in Great Falls MT

Heart surgeries are performed safely and successfully every day throughout the United States. If your aging parent is going to be undergoing such a procedure in the near future, however, it is normal for them to feel somewhat nervous and apprehensive about the experience. Making efforts to prepare their mind for the surgery experience can help them to feel calmer, more confident, and better able to get through this step toward a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle. 

As your parent is moving toward heart surgery, it is important that you take the time to focus not just on getting their body ready for their experience, but their mind as well. Being in a strong, stable mindset going into a procedure can help your parent to face this need with less fear and nervousness, and then to come out more prepared to handle the challenges of recovery effectively.

Some ways that you can help your parent prepare their mind for heart surgery include:

• Understand the surgery. While this is not the case for everyone, some people thrive on knowing the details of a surgery before they go through it. They want to know each step of what is going to happen so that they feel more in control and aware. Even though your parent will be unconscious during the procedure, knowing what to expect can help them to feel more confident going into the surgery and reassure them when they wake up that they know what happened to them.

• Allow them to express themselves. Give your parent the time, space, and emotional safety to express their feelings and what they are going through leading up to the surgery. They are likely to be feeling nervous and may be having sudden fears of mortality and complications. Allow them to talk about these feelings and offer them emotional support as they work through them. You may find that they want to talk about their final arrangements and any thoughts they have about issues such as life support and hospice care. Even if these topics make you uncomfortable, give them the opportunity to discuss them openly and thoroughly so that your parent can feel more at ease.

• Offer your support. Make sure that your parent knows that they are not alone in this experience. Reassure them that you are there with them and that you are going to be with them throughout the entire experience. Let them know that you are going to be their ally in staying compliant with the doctor's instructions and doing everything that they need to do to make the most of their surgery and the healthier lifestyle it will help them achieve.

• Talk about elder care. Many elderly adults who are facing major surgery worry about the recovery period. They may feel apprehensive about their ability to handle the physical demands of recovery or worry that they will face an infection or complication and no one will know until it is too late. Discuss hiring an elderly home care services provider with them and help them to see how this care provider can address these fears and help them through both preparing for the surgery and then recovering from it.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Great Falls, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438-2231.