No matter where you are in Canada, we are so lucky that it is always available to us.
Thanks to donors, that is.
In fact, some of Canada’s most generous blood donors are seniors!
Surprised? Don’t be.
Yes, seniors can donate blood!
While there used to be an upper age limit for donors in Canada, Canadian Blood Services (who oversees the blood system across Canada—except for Quebec, where Héma-Québec operates) removed that policy in 2015.
So even if you’re an older adult, you may be able to give life-saving blood!
Mind you, there are criteria in place to ensure that donating blood is still safe for you. For example, if you have low iron, you may not be able to give blood because doing so could affect your own health.
You can find out more about whether you’re eligible by talking to a health professional at 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).
What is blood used for?
So many, many things.
Your first thought may be that blood is used to help people who have been in car accidents or who are undergoing surgery.
But there is also an ongoing need for blood by people living with and undergoing treatment for cancer.
In fact, it could take:
- Up to five donors to help someone undergoing ongoing cancer treatment, and
- Up to 50 (!!!) donors to help save a crash victim!
And those are just a small number of reasons why people need blood (and why we should donate it, if we can!).
Not able to donate blood?
Not everyone is eligible to donate blood. So if you want to save lives, what else can you do?
Well, Canadian Blood Services offers a bunch of other ways to help your fellow Canadians. You can:
- Register to donate stem cells (or encourage someone to donate stem cells if you are unable)
- Encourage a mother-to-be to donate her baby’s cord blood to the Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank
- Register or encourage your loved ones to become organ and tissue donors
- Make a financial donation to the Canadian blood system
- Get your workplace to get involved as a team (or encourage a loved one to take up the cause at their workplace)
- Volunteer at a blood donation centre or event
With so many options available, there’s bound to be something you can do to help save lives!