January is officially National Blood Donor Month, in which the American Red Cross and other organizations take the time to honor those who give blood and encourage new donors. During this month, organizations from across the nation sponsor blood drives and commit to donating blood throughout the remainder of the year. For older adults that maintain a lifestyle of independent senior living, this is a great opportunity to get involved in a good cause and help others. If finding new ways to volunteer is one of your new year's resolutions, consider stopping by your local blood drive and donating today.
According to the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals, blood is historically in relatively short supply during the holiday season and winter months in general. This is because many regular donors travel for the holidays, don't want to commute in lousy weather or get sick. As it is, there's always a need for more blood donations, but this busy season can be particularly challenging for recruiting donors. The American Red Cross notes that each day hospital patients nationwide need about 44,000 blood donations. These donations commonly help cancer patients, those undergoing surgeries, organ transplant recipients and people in traumatic accidents. Taking the time to donate this January helps ensure that those in need receive blood during the cold season.
"Approximately 25 percent of Americans need blood at least once in their life."
Besides the obvious reason to donate, AARP points out that seniors should donate blood because odds are they'll need it themselves someday. According to the source, approximately 25 percent of Americans need blood at least once in their life, and this percentage becomes higher for those of us over 50 years of age. Furthermore, you can save more than one life with just a single donation. Seniors who can give blood should consider it a testament to their health, and a means of helping others who may not be as lucky.
AARP also notes that it's actually easier for older individuals to give blood comfortably and that each time you donate you get a quick physical. Interestingly enough, seniors are less prone to experiencing dizziness or wooziness after donating. With that in mind, healthy seniors can easily become regular blood donors and selflessly help others. If you've been thinking about donating blood for a while, there's no better time than January during National Blood Donor Month.