Does My Aging Parent Have Anemia?

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The definition of anemia is a deficiency in red blood cells and of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Seniors are at a high risk of developing anemia, and some studies show that as many as 80 %  of American seniors have mild to severe anemia. If you are a family caregiver for an aging parent, you may be wondering whether they have anemia or are in danger of developing it.


Elderly Care in Pembroke Pines FL: Anemia Symptoms

Elderly Care in Pembroke Pines FL: Anemia Symptoms


Why Anemia is Dangerous

Proper oxygen levels are crucial to a healthy body, but when red blood cells are in short supply, the tissues and organs become starved for oxygen. The heart and the lungs become stressed as they work to supply even more oxygen. Organs and tissues won’t function well and can eventually shut down. In seniors, who are typically battling other types of chronic disease, anemia can create even more complications.


Recognizing Symptoms of Anemia in Seniors

When anemia is left untreated, it can mean lots of health problems. However, if it is diagnosed and treated by a doctor it is often quite manageable and the harmful effects minimized. The problem is that anemia symptoms are very similar to other conditions, and mild anemia may not present any symptoms at all.

Common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, headaches, cold hands and feet, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pains. Family caregivers, elder care providers, and others should pay close attention to the aging adults they care for to see if they may be suffering from anemia. If your elderly mom or dad displays any of these symptoms, you should get them to the doctor. A simple blood test can reveal whether they have anemia and need to be treated.


Treating and Preventing Anemia in Elderly Adults

Once seniors have been diagnosed with anemia, the doctor will outline a treatment plan. Because anemia is most often caused by a poor diet, they will recommend changes to include more iron-rich food. They may also prescribe iron supplements if needed. You, the elder care provider and other family members can play a big part in making sure your aging mom or dad gets the iron boost they need to reduce the effects of anemia.

It’s not difficult to add more iron-rich foods to an elderly person’s diet. The foods with the most iron include leafy greens, red meat, nuts, whole grains, egg yolks, seafood, and legumes. Adding these foods into meals and snacks can help your elderly parent reduce and even prevent anemia. When elder care providers, family members, and friends are aware of their dietary needs, they can also make the effort to include these natural sources of iron in your aging parent’s diet.

Anemia is common in seniors, but that doesn’t mean your mom or dad must suffer ill health. When you work with the doctor closely and build up a team of family members, elder care providers and friends for support, anemia in your elderly parent can remain a minor thing instead of a major health issue.


If you or a family member are in need of Elderly Care in Hallandale, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.


About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.