As we age, the level of cholesterol, a fat-like substance present in the blood, naturally tends to rise. Because there are risks of high cholesterol for all adults, seniors must be especially careful to maintain good cholesterol levels. Today, the Cincinnati senior care specialists at Home Care Assistance are going to discuss the dangers of high cholesterol and lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in the lives of seniors and older adults.
Understanding Good vs. Bad Cholesterol
Too much bad (LDL) cholesterol can clog the arteries, which leads to a variety of cardiac issues including stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and heart failure. However, the body also contains “good,” or HDL, cholesterol. High HDL levels can help prevent these issues from occurring.
Risk Factors for High Cholesterol
While age is one risk factor for high cholesterol, there are other factors that can impact one’s risk. High cholesterol is more common in those who smoke cigarettes, have high blood pressure, and/or have a family history of heart disease.
Possible Lifestyle Changes for Seniors
Those at high risk, including seniors, should implement small lifestyle measures to prevent high cholesterol. These include eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; avoiding fatty and fried foods and sweets; exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week; and if necessary, quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol.
If your aging parent or loved one is overweight, shedding some pounds can also help lower cholesterol levels. In fact, some experts say that weight loss of 5-10 pounds can make a difference. For seniors who are relatively inactive, walking for short distances and gradually increasing activity over time is a good way to begin a fitness routine.
How You Can Help Your Loved One
To help your loved one enjoy healthy and happy golden years, be sure they attend regular screenings to determine cholesterol levels. Try and accompany your loved one to all medical appointments and see if their doctor can recommend a safe and healthy diet and exercise plan or other treatment options, such as medication to lower cholesterol. Being there allows you to support your loved one, while making sure that any recommendations from the doctor are understood and carried out.
If you are unable to drive or accompany your loved one to their regular doctor appointments because of your current work schedule or because you live out-of-state, consider help from professional home caregivers. Caregivers can provide Cincinnati hourly home care on an as needed basis, offering reliable transportation to doctor and medical appointments, while also assisting with in-home activities such as nutritious meal preparation and daily exercise.
Interested in learning more about home care in Cincinnati? Request free information or a complimentary consultation by contacting Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of senior care and are available to answer questions 24/7. Call 513-891-2273 and talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Care Managers today.