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For April's National Donate a Life Month, it's a good time to talk about your parents' wishes. Each day close to two dozen people die while waiting for a needed organ to become available. Only 3 out of every 1,000 people who die do so in a way that makes organ donation possible.
Organ donation saves lives. Do you know your parents' wishes if something happens? This should be part of your conversation about aging. Do they want to be an organ donor? Is paperwork in place to make sure this happens? Here are questions families often have.
What Are the Age Restrictions for Organ Donations?
There is no age limit on organ donation. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the oldest organ donor was in his 90s when his liver was donated to a woman in her 60s. His donation saved her life.
What Donations Can Be Made?
When you choose to become an organ donor, your organs, corneas, body tissue, stem cells, bone marrow, blood, and skin can all be donated. There are cases where the tissue, skin, and blood vessels of the face have been used in face transplants. The options are endless if the organ, tissue, or other item is able to be donated in time.
Don't You Have to Be Healthy?
Medical conditions are not always a factor in stopping you from being a donor. The transplant team can determine which, if any, organs and body parts can be donated. The only things that may prevent donation are cancer, HIV/AIDs, and certain infections.
How Do You Sign Up?
When your parents get their driver's license renewed, most states allow that information to be placed on the license. If they don't have licenses, you can sign up to be an organ donor at organdonor.gov.
In addition to conversations about organ donation, you should talk to your parents about their medical wishes if they can't speak for themselves. They should have an advance directive on file. They should designate a medical power of attorney. They also need to sit down and talk about their plans for aging.
The time may come when your parent needs home care. Make sure you know what they want. Do they want family caregivers at all or do they feel better hiring professional caregivers? Once you know their wishes, call a home care agency to learn about pricing and services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Cayce, SC, please talk to our caring staff. Call today (803) 223-6173.