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5 Important Facts About Pacemakers

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

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 elderly loved one requires a pacemaker, here are 5 essential facts that can help you provide the appropriate Henderson senior 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 can take several weeks for the pacemaker to become secure within his or her body. Follow all discharge instructions and make sure your loved one has help with his or her daily routine so he or she does not try to do any strenuous activities until the physician has lifted all restrictions.

2. Pacemaker Batteries Have a Shelf Life

On average, a pacemaker battery can 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 Henderson hourly caregiver to make sure your loved one has safe transportation to and from these appointments.

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 will want to 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 can help prevent a dangerous interaction.

5. It May Be Necessary to Avoid Certain Equipment

Although most electrical devices will not 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 should step away from any appliance that causes him or her to feel dizzy.

With the right safety precautions in place, your loved one can enjoy a happy and healthy life with a pacemaker. Hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can increase his or her safety even more. Our part-time and live-in caregivers are available 24/7 to provide mobility assistance, transportation to medical appointments, and much more. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Henderson. For more information on our senior care services and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (702) 527-7723.