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Is It Safe for Your Elderly Loved One to Give Blood?

Donating blood is one of the most selfless gestures a person can make. However, as people grow older, blood donation can become exceedingly taxing on the body and its ability to repair itself. This may be true even if your aging loved one has regularly donated blood for many years and remains in good physical health. Following are a few important facts about blood donation seniors should be aware of, brought to you by the Las Vegas elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance.

There Are a Few General Health Qualifications

There are several qualifications your loved one must meet to qualify as an acceptable blood donor. For instance, he or she must weigh at least 110 lbs. For seniors weighing less than this, the donation process could be too destabilizing and cause feelings of weakness and faintness. Also, if your loved one has recently had seasonal flu shots, he or she is discouraged from donating for several months. 

The Requirements Can Vary

Although all donation facilities have a strict set of regulations they are legally required to adhere to, some may take greater precautions than others, particularly when it comes to the senior demographic. The measures these facilities take are meant to protect both donors and recipients. For instance, some facilities may refuse donations from seasoned world travelers, particularly seniors who have recently traveled in high-risk areas for the West Nile, Zika, and Ebola viruses. 

Doctor’s Consent May Be Required

If your loved one is over 65, some facilities may even require special documentation from his or her physician. In some areas, measures like these are only necessary for donors aged 75 and up. Calling a donation facility in advance of a visit or touring the official website can help your loved one determine which general benchmarks must be met and whether or not there are any age-specific requirements in place.

Nutrition and Hydration Should Be a Priority

Seniors who wish to donate blood regularly should prioritize good nutrition and proper hydration at all times. Thirst is the first sign of mild dehydration, but regularly sipping at water throughout the recovery period can help restore fluid balance. Some donor facilities even recommend using coconut water to rehydrate after donation because of its striking similarity to the chemical makeup of blood plasma. With balanced nutrition and an effort to avoid age-specific nutritional deficiencies, healthy seniors can usually match the donations of younger donors in both volume and quality.

To learn more about senior safety, health, and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to ensure your loved one lives a safe, healthy, and comfortable life. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke care Las Vegas seniors can rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, call 702-550-3185 to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager.