Loved ones are often concerned about health impacts when Senior Citizens donate blood. Is it safe for older people to give blood? What are the side effects?
The truth is giving blood is safe for healthy adults. There is no upper age limit on giving blood in the U.S. In fact, older adults can help save lives with their blood donations. Several studies have shown that complications from blood donations decrease with age. If you have health concerns, check with your doctor before donating.
What are the requirements to donate blood?
Any adult over 17 can give blood once every 8 weeks if they meet the requirements. Donors must weigh over 110 pounds and be in good health. You cannot donate if you are feeling sick or have low iron. They will do a short on-site exam to test your iron levels. The Red Cross also wants donors to wait 3 years after traveling to certain malaria-risk countries.
Complications from Giving Blood
It’s uncommon to have any complications after a blood donation. For example, blood vessel injury from the needle stick is very rare. However, in some cases, donors may experience mild, temporary side effects.
- Bruising at the needle site
- Minor bleeding
Complications for Senior Citizens
The risks associated with Senior Citizens donating blood are very low. Recent studies show that the risk of complications goes down with age. In fact, teenagers are three times more likely to have complications from donating than those 80 and older. Likewise, the severity of reactions decreases with age. For example, moderate to severe reactions are lower in adults over 65.
Benefits of Donating Blood
Blood donation has many benefits for Senior Citizens and the community. The blood is used at hospitals for those who need transfusions, benefiting people of all ages. In addition, the donations aid those with chronic illnesses such as anemia, heart failure, or kidney disease.
Donating blood has a positive effect on the donor as well. Knowing that you are helping others can boost emotional well-being and lower stress. There may also be benefits to physical health for specific individuals. For example, giving blood reduces iron buildup for people with hemochromatosis (iron overload). It also lowers blood viscosity, which is helpful for those who have problems with over-clotting. Plus, you get a free mini health exam where they check your blood pressure, hemoglobin, temperature, and pulse.
Senior Citizens Donate Blood
In the end, whether Senior Citizens donate blood or not is up to them. The caring CHHHAs at Anita’s Angels, Inc. is here to support them in that decision. We can transport clients to and from blood donation sites and stay with them to ensure they rest afterward. We also help cook heart-healthy meals to sustain them. We are Families Helping Families. Let’s talk about how our family can help yours — call 908-788-9390.