Organ Donation Information for Seniors
Are you someone who is interested in making the selfless decision to donate their organs after they pass away? Organ donation can help save lives and is a program that has already helped millions. However, there are many seniors today who have questions about organ donation and aren’t sure if they still qualify for this program at their age. The most important thing to remember is that most seniors can still donate their organs, even as older adults.
Many seniors who are making sure their affairs are in order at this stage in their life have questions about organ donation and whether it is still a viable option for them. This is why we have collected some of the top facts about senior organ donation for those who have questions about making this selfless act later on in life.
- You can donate your organs when you are over 50. There is a very unfortunate rumor out there that senior adults over a certain age should not donate organs. This is completely not true. In fact the Health Resources and Services Administration recently launched a campaign dedicated to helping encourage adults over 50 to donate their organs.
- A majority of organs come from people over the age of 50. Approximately 40% of people receiving organ transplants, receive that organ from an adult 50 or older. Approximately 10% receive an organ from someone 65 or older.
- One person can save eight lives with their organ donation. They can also make a difference in the lives of 75 people with other organ, eye and tissue donations.
- There are more than 120,000 people currently on organ transplant lists in the United States alone, and 150 people are added to the list every day.
- The baby boomer population is growing at a rapid rate, yet more than 20 percent still believe they are too old to register as an organ donor. This is not true. There are over 100 million people age 50 and older in the United States, and 20 percent of this population signing up for organ donation could make a huge difference.
- You simply have to be in good general health to be an organ donor, not of a certain age. There are also more tissues, skin, bones and organs than ever that you can donate, meaning just because a certain organ isn’t necessarily a candidate for donation, it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify.
Organ donation is a completely personal and individual decision. There are many people who choose not to be organ donors for their own reasons, which is perfectly fine. However, it is important that seniors understand that while there are reasons to not sign up for organ donation, age should not be one of them. The more seniors know about their options and their ability to be an organ donor, if they choose, the better equipped they will be to make this important decision for themselves.
Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..