Anemia is a serious illness for older adults, especially those with chronic diseases and complex health conditions. Older adults with anemia have twice the risk of experiencing physical declines such as loss of balance, ability to stand or walk and limited mobility. Approximately 15% of adults over 65 have a compromised capacity to carry oxygen in the blood. As a result, they often feel weak, tired, dizzy, or irritable. The heart is forced to pump harder, which can lead to heart disease. In older patients, anemia may be caused by underlying diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, poor nutrition or a medical treatment for some other condition that affects blood health. In many cases, there may not be an identified underlying cause, but all older patients with anemia are more likely to be hospitalized or placed in residential care.