If your elderly loved one is diagnosed with having an irregular heartbeat, he or she may need to have a pacemaker implanted to prevent the development of more serious conditions. These small devices are placed under the skin near the heart to help regulate the heartbeat and need to be closely monitored. Here are a few things you should know about caring for a senior with a pacemaker.
You Should Be Aware of Your Loved One’s Healthy Heart Rate
Seniors who have recently had a pacemaker implanted in their chest must keep their heart rate within a healthy range to avoid post-op complications. This is why both your loved one and his or her Las Vegas caregiver should know how high the heart rate can go before an ambulance must be called. As a general rule, your loved one’s heart rate shouldn’t exceed 220 beats per minute minus his or her age.
Heart Rate Fluctuations Should Always Be Tracked
Giving the doctor reliable information on heart rate fluctuations will allow him or her to make better decisions for your loved one. Seniors with pacemakers should write down their heart rate three or four times a day. Your loved one will likely need to check this in the morning, just before bed, and immediately following any physical activity.
Your Loved One Should Take Medication Exactly as Instructed
The medication that must be taken after a pacemaker is implanted is unusual for a few different reasons. Unlike many other prescriptions, heart rate medication is timed around natural dips in your loved one’s heart rate. This is why it must be taken at a very specific time of the day and missing even a single dose can be dangerous. You may want to consider hiring a part-time caregiver in Las Vegas to provide timely medication reminders for your loved one. Much like the heart rate log, your loved one should also keep a medication log.
A Pacemaker ID Card Should Be Printed Out
If your loved one’s doctor has not provided him or her with a pacemaker ID card, then one must be printed off the Internet. The biggest benefit of these cards is that medical personnel will know your loved one has a pacemaker and make changes to his or her treatments as needed. These cards will also notify security personnel your loved one has a pacemaker in the event this device sets off a metal detector.
Though adjusting to having a pacemaker may prove to be challenging at first, your loved one can still live a happy and healthy life with the help of this device. Having a professional caregiver to help can make the transition and ongoing care safer and simpler. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can provide medication reminders, drive your loved one to doctor’s appointments, assist with physical activity, and help with many other important tasks. For more information on in-home care Las Vegas families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (702) 550-3185 to schedule a free consultation.