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Pacemaker for elderly frail mother
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Pacemaker for elderly frail mother

My mother has had several falls in the last few months.  Doctors tell us heart arrythmia may be cause - EKG confirms that her heart slows/stops.  Pacemaker is recommended.  Our issue is that she is very frail and weakened - unable to support herself or walk even with walker.  She states "I am ready to go."  Will pacemaker help her do better in rehab and maybe go back to her ACLF (independent apartment) or at least assisted living?  Is she likley to regain function lost due to recent fall?
Tags: Rehab
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187666_tn?1331176945
May I ask how old? My Dad was in his late 70's when he had his ICD replaced. A pacemaker could give her more energy and generally feel better. As for the fall, will she regain function? Depends on what happened. Is she broken? My Mom (age 80) fell, had a compression fracture of a vertebra, they fixed it and now she's picking up speed. She still uses a cane but she feels better and wants to do more.
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Avatar_n_tn
She is 93 and has not broken anything.  She is frail and losing interest in things, though still cheerful.  I am wondering if the pacemaker might improve brain function as well as heaert function.
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187666_tn?1331176945
Improved circulation will definitely improve her energy levels and probably her brain function unless she has something else going on like Alzheimers. Have they checked her lung function and oxygen levels as well? My Dad, near the end of his life, needed oxygen and when he used it, he was much more alert, able to follow our conversations. So I'm wondering how her oxygen sat is doing too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comments.  We decided to put in the pacemaker and she will go to rehab later this week.  I am feeling hopeful.  
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187666_tn?1331176945
Most everyone I know that's had a pacemaker put in felt incredible improvement. The hardest part will just be the procedure (not unbearable) and for her to remember not to lift her arm for a week or two. My Dad wore a sling to remind him to keep the arm down.

I do hope your Mother feels wonderful again after she gets the pacemaker. If it helps the way I expect it will, she'll be surprised at what she's been missing due to the very slow heart rate. Here's wishing for all the very best.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 93 yr old mom has Alz, but we had a pacemaker put in anyway. This was so she could continue to live at home. Her heart was so weak, she was falling and fainting. Within 48 hours of her implant- WOW! She was talking clear sentences instead of jibberish...her energy level is amazing- give me a pacemaker! However, since she has ALZ, I was worried that if she got so strong and if she should become "Alz angry" and dangerous to caregivers...the pacemaker could be removed. For example, if her mind was in such a state where no one could care for her unless she was heavily sedated in a nursing home, we would consider removing the pacemaker. For now, I believe we did the right thing. She is in her home with wonderful caregivers who enjoy her having this "new life"
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