• Blogs

    Can Seniors Donate Blood?

    January 12, 2023

    The short answer is simple, yes…but with conditions. Most blood donors are proud to have been able to serve their community throughout the course of their lives, and under the right conditions should be able to continue donating blood well into their golden years. Donors are required to meet eligibility criteria based on health, wellness and lifestyle.

    However, when it comes to senior-aged loved ones and donating blood, there are always some precautions that must be taken. We know that even though your elderly family members may want to continue donating blood, you still have concerns about their well-being in the process.
    Before you schedule their next donation appointment, here are some of the requirements to expect for senior blood donors.

    Weight
    Although there isn’t an age limit to blood donations, there is definitely a weight requirement in place to ensure donors remain healthy after the procedure. The minimum weight for someone to donate blood is 110 pounds.

    Those under the weight requirement may not be able to comfortably withstand losing the amount of blood that’s taken out with each donation. If someone donates while underweight the chances are high that they will faint during the process. Once this happens, the technician will quickly lay the donor back to raise their feet and remove the needle.

    General Health
    Consider your loved one’s immune system before taking a trip to the blood bank. Being in good health before giving blood is essential, so if the donor has recently experienced an illness like the flu or a cold, they’ll be deferred from giving blood this time around.

    There is a danger that the illness will quickly return or symptoms will worsen. Although most people can shrug off the common cold or virus, the elderly can face life-threatening complications when prolonged or recurring illnesses arise.

    Be Prepared for Individual Circumstances
    Some states and blood banks may have their own individual requirements for elderly community members who wish to donate. For example, some associations may require a doctor’s note that ensures the patient’s good health before donating blood. Some may even impose their own age limitations. 

    The New York Blood Center (NYBC) says once a donor reaches the age of 75, they must obtain a note from their primary physician stating that they are in good health to donate. Once this note is documented by NYBC when a donor presents to give blood, they can continue to donate with no upper age limit. 

    Donor Ineligibility
    There are a few circumstances that could temporarily (or permanently) prevent someone from being able to give blood. These include:
    Not feeling well for any reason
    Cold, sore throat, respiratory infection, flu
    Travel to an area of the world where malaria is a problem
    Certain cases of heart disease
    Recent Ears, nose or skin piercing
    Recent tattoos (depending on the state the tattoo was done)
    Pregnancy, abortion or miscarriage
    Surgery, serious injury
    Syphilis, gonorrhea
    Have had certain forms of cancer
    Recent Blood transfusion
    Illicit drug use, especially with a needle
    Antibiotics if taken for infection (except antibiotics for acne) 

    Most of these restrictions require a short deferral time before being able to safely donate again. If any of the above applies or there are other questions a donor may have it is better to call your local blood center to confirm your eligibility beforehand. At the same time, ask about whether they have any age restrictions or requirements for donors over 65.

    Instead of donating blood themselves, there are several other things that your older loved one can do to support their favorite cause.
    The New York Blood Center suggests a few ways to get involved without giving blood:

    • Encourage your loved ones to find a local donor center to give blood regularly.
    • Help recruit blood donations in your area and promoting upcoming blood drives
    • Volunteer by greeting and registering donors as they arrive at a donor center
    • Donate money to support the New York Blood Center research
    No comments found.

    Leave a Comment

    Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder: Shedding Light on the Winter Blues

    Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder: Shedding Light on the Winter Blues Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the winter blues, is a mood disorder that typically occurs during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. This condition can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and emotional well being, affecting everything from […]

    November is National Home Care and Hospice Month

    True Care Recognizes National Home Care and Hospice Month November is National Home Care and Hospice Month, a time to recognize and appreciate the vital role that home care and hospice services play in our communities. At True Care Home Care, we understand the importance of providing quality care for your loved ones in the […]

    National Family Caregivers’ Month

    National Family Caregivers’ Month is celebrated each November in the United States. It is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country and raise awareness about caregiving issues.  Family caregivers play a significant role in their loved ones’ health and well-being, and their contributions are crucial to both the recipients of care […]

    Boost Your Health Literacy: Your Key to Quality Home Care

    October is Health Literacy Month, and we at True Care are excited to talk about what health literacy is and how it applies to home care. While, at a bare-bones level, health literacy is about having the tools to understand health-related information, there is so much more to it that can help make your home […]

    World Osteoporosis Day: Taking Care of Your Bones

    World Osteoporosis Day: Taking Care of Your Bones Today, we’re shining a spotlight on a day that’s all about your bones – World Osteoporosis Day! Having just taken place on October 20th, World Osteoporosis Day is a day to appreciate and educate yourself about the significance of bone health. Just as you take care of […]