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How Anemia Affects the Elderly

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Anemia is a type of medical condition that affects the red blood cells. A person with this problem has a relatively low count of hemoglobin, which is a complex protein that’s responsible for carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. Anemia is likely to occur in senior citizens due to natural degeneration of the circulatory, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The following overview focuses on four ways that anemia affects the elderly and what Omaha live-in caregivers can expect.

Fatigue

Due to a low reserve of oxygen in the body, seniors who have anemia often experience fatigue and shortness of breath. Therefore, such individuals will struggle to walk long distances and navigate steep stairs and other terrains. Heart disease and post-stroke caregivers in Omaha should allow seniors with anemia to take short breaks even during moderate or low-intensity activities.

Paleness

A lack of hemoglobin in the body leads to a pale skin complexion. Anemic seniors have to spend plenty of time outdoors in order to get some sunshine that can restore some texture and color to the skin. Anemia can also interfere with the proper generation of vitamin D provided by solar rays. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that seniors who live with anemia get about an hour’s worth of daily exposure to sunlight. 

Poor Nutrition

Anemia is often caused by a deficiency in vital nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin B-12. The absence of such nutrients can create an imbalance in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals. A loss of appetite can also be a common side effect of anemia. Additionally, excessive thirst may also come with a moderate to severe form of anemia. 

Bone Weakness

Problems with the bone marrow can lead to anemia and many other complications in the body. Anemic seniors are likely to have weak bones that can quickly degenerate. Elderly people with anemia and arthritis can experience mild to moderate pain when trying to make subtle movements with the limbs.

Your loved one can get the help he or she needs with Omaha, NE Home Care Assistance. We provide personalized live-in and hourly home care to meet the individual needs of each client to enhance the at-home care experience. Our comprehensive services allow seniors to confidently age in place while getting the help they need to manage illness and injury in the comfort of home. Contact a friendly Care Manager at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.