Elective Medical Procedures: Are They Safe Now for Seniors?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world on pause, including, among a great many other activities, healthcare appointments and procedures. In fact, nearly 50% of all adults either canceled or put off routine medical care and elective treatments since the coronavirus crisis began, leading medical professionals to become concerned about the effects.

While we tentatively strive for a new normal, it’s critical to talk with your health care provider about any procedures you may have been considering pre-pandemic, and to get answers to these questions so that you can gauge the safety of doing the procedures now.

  1. Is the healthcare facility where I’ll be treated also treating COVID-19 patients, and are the same medical faculty who will take care of me also taking care of the COVID-19 patients? If so, what safeguards have been put into place to guarantee my safety?
  2. What are the facility’s cleaning/disinfecting protocols?
  3. Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 before my procedure?
  4. Are medical employees being tested for COVID-19? If that’s the case, how frequently?
  5. Do I have to wear a mask? Gloves? Any other personal protective equipment?
  6. Are there any items which are prohibited from being brought with me, such as clothing, books, a phone or laptop?
  7. May I fill out paperwork beforehand?
  8. May I wait outside or in my vehicle until I’m called in for my procedure?
  9. May a family member or caregiver come with me?
  10. Is follow-up provided in person, or is it possible to utilize telehealth?

Additionally, there are post-procedure considerations to think through. Many individuals face concerns about the potential for contracting COVID-19 after a stay in the hospital, so talk with your medical professional with regards to the need to self-monitor for symptoms, as well as recommendations on any additional safety measures you might need to take, such as avoiding contact with other people for some time, wearing a mask or gloves in the home when others are there, increased sanitizing measures to take, etc. Your doctor may suggest taking your temperature and oxygen levels in the home. If so, make sure you purchase a thermometer and pulse oximeter.

As soon as you are satisfied with the answers you’ve received along with the assurance that the procedure is safe to schedule, connect with Seniorcorp, one of the most trusted home health agencies in Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas. Our transitional care services can help ensure things are taken care of before, during, and after your procedure, including transportation, picking up groceries and prescription medications, helping you get situated back at home and monitoring for any changes in condition, and so much more. Call us any time at 757.640.0557.