5 Things You Need to Know if Your Loved One Gets a Pacemaker

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A pacemaker is a small device that uses electric stimulation to regulate irregular heartbeats. These devices may need to be worn for a short period after a heart attack or even for a lifetime. If your aging loved one requires a pacemaker, here are some essential facts that may help you provide the appropriate care and keep him or her healthy. 

1. The Recovery Period Is Critical

After the pacemaker surgery is performed, your loved one will spend approximately 4 to 6 weeks recovering. Taking it easy during this time is critical because it may take several weeks for the pacemaker to become secure within the body. Follow all discharge instructions, and make sure your loved one has help with daily routines so he or she doesn’t try to do any strenuous activities until the physician has lifted all restrictions. 

Living alone at home in the golden years may present a few unique challenges. Trust home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. 

2. Pacemaker Batteries Have a Shelf Life

On average, a pacemaker battery may last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Since your loved one won’t feel the pacemaker activate, he or she will be asked to visit the doctor every 3 to 6 months to make sure the battery and device are working properly. For this reason, you may want to hire a caregiver to make sure your loved one has safe transportation to and from these appointments. 

Senior Care Cincinnati experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers may help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

3. A Pacemaker ID Card Is Essential

After your loved one has the pacemaker procedure, he or she will be given an ID card that should be carried at all times. This is especially important if your loved one travels or visits locations where metal detectors are present. A medical ID card is also essential in emergencies, since it will inform potential responders about the risk of using certain equipment. 

4. Cellphones Can Interact with These Devices

Grounded appliances like microwaves are safe for a senior with a pacemaker to use without precautions. However, cellphones can interfere with the signals sent by a pacemaker. For this reason, you should encourage your loved one to keep his or her cellphone at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker. Holding the phone to the ear opposite the heart and avoiding putting it in a shirt pocket may prevent a dangerous interaction.

5. It May Be Necessary to Avoid Certain Equipment

Although most electrical devices won’t interfere with your loved one’s pacemaker, there are some that could pose a danger. For example, MRI machines, ultrasonic scaling equipment used by dentists, and electric arc welders should all be avoided. When in doubt, your loved one should always inform medical providers about the pacemaker, and he or she should step away from any appliance that causes him or her to feel dizzy.

With the right safety precautions in place, your loved one may enjoy a happy and healthy life with a pacemaker. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that may make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face may be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Cincinnati families may rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your loved one needs professional care, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 513-540-0826 today.