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What to Expect When Your Senior Loved One Is Anemic

Anemia is a common condition for seniors, affecting nearly 45 percent of the elderly population. While it is often viewed as an inevitable condition that occurs with age, in nearly 80 percent of cases a cause can be found and treatment suggested. If you’re a live-in caregiver in Sacramento and you suspect your loved one has anemia, it is important to see their doctor. 

Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not transport enough oxygen-rich blood. It can manifest as a lower than normal level of red blood cells or a deficiency of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen, in the red blood cells. Because the cells are not providing the body with enough oxygen, the symptoms of anemia generally include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, or headaches. A person with anemia may also appear pale, especially in the inner eyelid. Symptoms develop slowly over time, so they can often be easy to overlook. This is especially true for seniors who often expect to feel more fatigued as a result of age. Similarly, anemia can often make the symptoms of a previously diagnosed condition worse and therefore be attributed to another cause. 

Causes of Anemia in Seniors

The most common causes of anemia in seniors are iron deficiency and chronic diseases. A deficiency of folate or vitamin B-12, or gastrointestinal bleeding from a digestive condition, ulcers, or colitis can also cause it. A doctor will perform an examination and run tests based on what he believes to be the most likely cause. Prognosis is generally good even if an underlying cause is not identified and treatment is usually simple and effective. Anemia can drain your loved one’s energy or exacerbate the symptoms of another condition. Speak with their healthcare provider if you have noticed any of the above symptoms. Seniors do not have to live with anemia as an inescapable part of aging. 

Seniors can even manage anemia in the comfort of their own homes with help from a trusted Sacramento home care agency. Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of at-home care that enables seniors to age in place with help from dedicated and compassionate home caregivers. These highly trained professionals assist with daily tasks including medication reminders, mobility training, meal preparation, and personal care assistance. Schedule a free consultation today when you contact us at 916.706.0169 and speak with an experienced Care Manager.