Donating an organ, either while still alive or after having passed away, is a great way to potentially save another person’s life. Though some people may believe only younger adults can become organ donors, it’s actually possible for seniors to donate as well. Douglas County home care professionals have put together a list of 4 reasons why seniors might want to become organ donors.
1. Donors Do Not Have to Pay to Donate
Seniors who are interested in donating organs do not have to pay for the related medical services they receive. Many of the leading organ donation organizations even offer incentives such as long-term medical care after the procedure. Depending on the organ donated and a few other factors, seniors might also be eligible for a living donor tax credit, which is especially common in states that have specific organ shortages.
2. There Is a Critical Organ Shortage
Very few people realize just how long the organ recipient list has become over the last few years. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there are currently over 119,000 people on the list. By signing up for the donor list, seniors can potentially change an individual’s life, if not save multiple lives.
3. There Are No Age Restrictions
As long as donors are relatively healthy, they can keep their names on the donor registration list for as long as they would like. Many organs are now being transplanted from donors who are well into their 90s. As of 2016, the oldest donor in the world was a 107-year-old woman from Scotland who successfully donated one of her corneas.
4. Illnesses Do Not Affect All Organs
Even seniors with chronic health conditions might still be able to donate at least some of their organs or other vital body parts. Most recipients need livers and kidneys, but seniors can also donate their pancreas, eyes, limbs, skin, intestines, and fatty tissue after they pass away. Seniors living with severe illnesses should speak with their doctors about their options for donating other tissue. At the very least, many older adults can regularly donate their blood and marrow to those who are in need.
If your elderly loved one is interested in becoming an organ donor and would like more information, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Douglas County, and our caregivers can assist with a wide array of daily tasks, including exercise, meal prep, and transportation. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at 720-580-5378 to schedule a free in-home consultation.