5 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol in the Golden Years

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5 Ways Older Adults Can Lower Their Cholesterol in Columbus, OH

An elevated cholesterol level may be a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke. While high cholesterol may be related to advancing age, genetics, and family history, lifestyle factors also play an important role. Here are 5 ways seniors can modify their lifestyles to lower their cholesterol levels.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

As seniors age, it can become more difficult to lose weight. Certain factors such as hypothyroidism, blood pressure medications, and chronic pain can make dieting and exercise difficult. However, it’s important to try to maintain a healthy weight because excess weight raises cholesterol levels. In addition to raising total cholesterol, excess weight also raises low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). This type of cholesterol is also known as “bad cholesterol” because it can heighten the risk for arteriosclerosis.

One of the many ways to ensure your loved one maintains a healthy weight and enjoys a high quality of life is to hire a professional caregiver. Columbus elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Monitor Medication Side Effects

If your aging loved one takes medications known as beta blockers, his or her cholesterol levels may rise. Beta blockers are used in the management of high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, migraines, and anxiety, and they can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize cholesterol, leading to hypercholesterolemia. If your loved one has a personal or family history of elevated cholesterol levels, talk to his or her doctor about alternatives to beta blockers.

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Columbus, OH, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

3. Consume More Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in freshwater fish such as salmon as well as nuts, tuna, and flaxseed, and they can lower total cholesterol and raise high-density lipoproteins, also known as “good cholesterol.” High density lipoproteins are thought to reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke, unlike LDL cholesterol, which is thought to increase the risk. Before increasing your loved one’s intake of omega 3-rich foods, talk to his or her doctor. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit platelet aggregation, raising the risk for abnormal bleeding. They may also intensify the action of prescription anticoagulant medications.

4. Don’t Smoke

Smoking raises the risk for pulmonary disease and high blood pressure, and it can also increase total cholesterol levels and lower levels of good cholesterol. It is thought that cigarette smoking damages the tiny capillaries in the body, which may be one reason for elevations in cholesterol. If your loved one is unable to quit smoking independently, ask his or her physician for help. The physician may recommend smoking cessation options such as nicotine replacement patches or gum, oral medications, or smoking cessation support groups.

5. Enroll in an Exercise Class

Joining an exercise class can help seniors meet new friends while avoiding social isolation. It’s also more enjoyable to exercise with others because everyone can motivate one another. Even mild exercise can dramatically lower high cholesterol while enhancing cardiovascular function. Before signing up for an exercise class, your loved one should get a checkup to make sure he or she is healthy enough to engage in frequent exercise.

Seniors who need assistance making healthier lifestyle choices or managing daily tasks can benefit from professional in-home care. In Columbus, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (614) 481-8888 today.

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