Are Seniors Ever “Too Old” to Donate Blood?

By June 26, 2020Senior Care Tips
Seniors donating blood

The short answer is simple. Most blood donors are proud to have been able to serve their community throughout the course of their lives, and there isn’t an age limit to who can donate blood.

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 blood donors aged 65 and up.


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 on the donation table. Once this happens, technicians remove the needle and dispose of the blood they’ve collected, since donations are only collected by the pint.

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 rejected from giving blood this time around.

The danger of the elderly donating after a recent recovery from an illness is that their chances are increased 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 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.

Before making the trip to the blood bank, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and find out if your local bank has any restrictions or requirements for donators over the age of 65.

How Seniors Can Help Without an Actual Donation

If your loved one is unable to donate blood due to their health, weight, or other underlying circumstances, there are still several ways they can help the cause.

Blood banks always seek volunteers to help with:

  • Recruitment for Upcoming Blood Drives
  • Donor Registration
  • Collecting Donations

Find out from your local blood bank how your loved one can still make a difference!

Make Healthy Senior Choices With Cornerstone Senior Living

At Cornerstone Senior Living communities, the well-being and health of our members is our number one priority. If you know that your elderly loved one is having difficulties living on their own at home, it may be time to discuss moving to independent or assisted living.

We are always happy to welcome new residents to our communities and invite you and your family to take a tour of a Cornerstone community near you. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help your loved one live out their Golden Years in a community that meets their needs.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • David Ruptash says:

    I am 91 years old. After a regular medical my G P advised that my iron content (1000) is higher than it should be. While I’m not quite sure what that all means he advised that it should be about 500. the last test showed it to be 650. He suggests I take a further blood test but in the meantime donating blood may assist. In 2018 I suffered a heart attack. Cardiology treatment with stints is keeping me going. For the past 20 years I have and am being treated for Prostate Cancer. Years ago, when I was in business giving blood was routine – that is more than 25 years ago. Question – am I to old, does continuing prostate treatment exclude me? Thank you. I would appreciate a written response.

    • joel gill says:

      jesus christ man.. give up donating blood.. My deceased fatther in law became ADDICTED to giving blood every 6-8 weeks.. Whats NOT to like?.. An 89 year old man being surrounded by pretty nurses and then eating a tray full of cookies washed down with fresh squeezed orange juice after EVERY donation.Beats the breakfast he got in the $4k a month nursing home.. Did they use his blood for transfussions?.Nope .Rarely. Why?.. Because he was told many times- his blood was too tired and anemic”..He seldom excercised and seldom walk or jogged at 89..But he REFUSED to give it up.. the blood donation procedure took away the monotony of being in the LONELY nursing home- even For just a FEW hours. He passed away just a year later at age 90 after giving blood every 2 months for THIRTY FIVE YEARS..My advise?..GIVE IT UP, man.. give it up..

      • Carol says:

        Don’t give it up. You like donating blood for many reasons, you’re helping someone else out—continue as long as you can.

  • Bill says:

    You might have hemochromatosis if your iron is high.

  • Helen DeRosa says:

    I just want to find out my blood type, A or B etc.

  • Gillian Rowley says:

    Hi I thought I might be to old to donate blood but my daughter said on the web it say age limit is 75 ? Is this right ? I’m 74 in very good health don’t take medication for anything and don’t want to make a fool of myself asking

    • A-the-Griz says:

      The worst they can tell You is no.

    • Theresa R Shaw says:

      I would like to sell my blood if possible.
      There is a severe shortage and i would like to help out my grandchildren.
      I am type O positive. In good health and 78 years old .in the past I have given at chrch twice a year.
      I just found out some people sell their blood. I realize that the first time isnot compensated. Theiy need to test the qualityof the .
      blood.There isno age limit to giving just blood.
      Blood plasma donations cut off at 65.

      Also I had a transfusion Jan. 10th and in March they did an endyoscope and found I had completely healed .
      Thank you.

  • says:

    I’m turning 65, no 66. I’m starting to give plasma and able to do so until the tell Me no. I plan to give blood because it’s good for the liver. Your Liver

    control the blood. Putting it to work will do it no harm and will give You fresh blood. Keep Your Liver healthy with herbs and diet. Even if Your blood

    cells get “to old” they still may be able to spin it & use the Plasma. Don’t listen to that Fish. Gill ; if Your Doc said giving blood might help then go talk to

    the Blood Bank. ( BUT don’t ask for a withdraw on Halloween ; They look at’cha kind of weird !!)

  • Theresa R Shaw says:

    Unfortunately, there are more thoughtful people like that addictedman. There is a great shortage of blood no e in St.
    Louis, Mo.

  • Gord Hack says:

    I’ve never given blood ,am going on73 am dieabeties high blood pressure can I give blood

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