Touching Hearts at Home is pleased to welcome Carlye Wilson as our new Administrative Assistant!
Should You Worry About Your Parent’s Pacemaker Being Safe?
There are a lot of myths out there about pacemakers that can make people afraid to get them. When faced with the prospect of getting the device, seniors might worry about how their life will change and what they’ll need to avoid. Knowing more about pacemakers can help seniors and their family members know if a pacemaker is safe for them.
What Is a Pacemaker?
The body has its own natural electrical system that controls how the heart beats. When that system breaks down, the heart is unable to do its job efficiently. A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin of the chest to provide the electrical stimulus the heart needs to beat in an orderly manner.
There are two main parts to a pacemaker. They are:
Pulse Generator: This part of the device contains the battery and the circuitry that provides the electrical impulse
Leads or Electrodes: These are the wires that are attached to the heart to deliver the electrical pulse.
Pacemakers only provide the stimulus when it is needed. In addition, modern devices are able to sense both breathing rate and body motion, such as when a person exercises, and regulate the heartbeat to match.
Are There Safety Precautions for Pacemakers?
So, are pacemakers safe? Yes, as long as the senior follows the doctor’s instructions and takes certain precautions. There are some things people with pacemakers should avoid or approach differently, such as:
Cellphones: It’s okay for your aging relative to keep using their cellphone but experts suggest they keep it at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker. This means it should not be carried in a shirt pocket on the side of the body where the device is implanted. Seniors should also hold the phone on the side opposite the pacemaker when talking on it.
Headphones: According to the American Heart Association, headphones contain a magnetic material that can cause problems for people with pacemakers. This includes both earbud and clip-on models. To use them safely, seniors should keep them 6 inches from the device, which means no draping them around their neck when not using them or sticking them into a shirt pocket. In addition, they should not let someone wearing headphones rest their head on the chest over the device.
Security Systems: Older adults with pacemakers can pass through security systems safely but should avoid standing near them too long. They also should never lean against a metal detector. People with pacemakers should carry a card identifying them as someone with a pacemaker to avoid any problems with security.
Senior care can help seniors with pacemakers to avoid things that can interfere with their device. A senior care provider can remind them to put their cellphone in a pocket on the opposite side of their body and to hold it on that side. In addition, when going to places with security detectors, a senior care provider can keep the senior moving so they don’t linger near the device. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to carry their identification card.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Murfreesboro TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Bell Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.
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