Safety for Seniors on Blood Thinners – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Many seniors take anticoagulants, medication to keep blood thin by preventing clots that may lead to heart attack, DVTs or stroke.

Without anticoagulants, blood clots could form and travel to other parts of the body, causing other health problems.

In reality, your senior’s blood is not ‘thinner’ but blood clots have more difficulty forming when anticoagulants are used.

Using these medications is serious business, too.

It is important to follow safety precautions when taking any form of blood thinner.

Taking a medication to thin your blood means your senior is at higher risk of bleeding, even with simple things such as brushing their teeth.

Your senior may also bruise more easily and feel cold as a result of these medications.

Blood Thinner Safety

Blood thinners are often associated with changes to the foods our seniors can eat, but there are other safety precautions that are very important to follow.

Here are some reminders for your senior:

  1. Prevent bleeding by wearing shoes indoors and outdoors
  2. Wear gloves while doing yard work
  3. Use scissors or knives carefully
  4. Use an electric razor or hair removal cream instead of razor blades
  5. Don’t use toothpicks instead use a waxed dental floss
  6. Use a soft bristle toothbrush
  7. Use caution when cutting finger and toe nails
  8. Be sure every doctor or pharmacist knows you are taking blood thinners
  9. Get your blood tested on schedule according to your doctors instructions
  10. Ask your pharmacist about over the counter and prescription medications that can interfere with blood thinners
  11. Avoid certain foods, nutritional supplements and alcohol, which could interact with your anticoagulant
  12. Be sure everyone that treats your senior is aware that they are taking these medications including dentist or doctors and before any medical procedures

You may want to be sure your senior loved one wears an identification bracelet that states they are taking an anticoagulant in case of emergency.

Additional Resources

Here are more articles about medication safety and our senior loved ones that you might find informative.