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Studies show interaction with loved ones speed your recovery post surgery

May 19, 2017 at midnight

Are you or a loved one about to have surgery? If so, and if you are hoping for a quick recovery, consider taking advantage of a swing bed program in your area. Using a swing bed program not only reduces the likelihood of post-surgical depression, but it will make it more convenient for family and loved ones to visit. In turn, socialization improves recovery times by reducing cortisone levels and eliminating the dangers associated with loneliness.

Post-Surgical Depression

Experts have long known that post-surgery depression is a dangerous and very real occurrence. Dangerous because depression extends the recovery time as well as leading to other, more serious problems, and real because it's now being acknowledged as a surgical complication by medical experts. While a swing bed program by itself will not eliminate the potential for post-surgical depression, it reduces it by tackling the realities of loneliness during recovery.

Loneliness and Depression

It doesn't take much imagination to understand how easily and quickly loneliness can set in during recovery. Some patients have terminated long-term relationships when loved ones fail to make an appearance during the recovery process. Although break-ups might seem extreme, consider that loneliness has a linear relationship with depression. By reducing the possibility of loneliness during recovery, the likelihood of depression might be marginally reduced as well. While this might not sound promising, realize that allowing loneliness will virtually guarantee post-recovery depression.

How Swing Bed Programs Work

Although many people have never heard of swing bed programs, they are quite common. In use in the United States to help rural patients obtain the medical care they need during their recovery, swing beds play an essential role in a patient's healthcare management. Swing bed programs allow patients who meet minimum recovery thresholds to move to a facility (or bed) closer to home.

Transferring to a bed closer to home enables social contact for recovering patients, which not only reduces the chance of loneliness but, according to studies at Ohio State University, also improves recovery times.

Benefits of Social Contact

It doesn't take a Ph.D. in Psychology to understand that interacting with other people and particularly with those you love, reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Since cortisol (stress) is naturally high in the weeks leading up to, and the days, weeks, and months following surgery, reducing those post-surgical cortisol levels is imperative when aiming for a quick recovery.

But what a lot of people overlook is that having a recovering friend or relative nearby means less of an inconvenience. By eliminating the obstacles of travel and distance, recovering patients are apt to see more

visitors during their recovery. This means socialization. And, as demonstrated above, socialization leads to reduced stress levels. It also results in a reduced potential for loneliness, which means a decreased potential for post-surgical depression.

Learn More About a Swing Bed Program Near You

Ultimately, swing bed programs reduce recovery times. Through socialization, swing bed programs not only lower the potential for serious post-surgical complications brought on by stress, loneliness, and depression, but they ensure proper care and access.

If you or a loved one need to have the type of surgery that requires a hospital stay at a facility that is tens or even hundreds of miles away from home, ask your medical team about your local swing bed program.


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