Over 102 million adults in the U.S. have high cholesterol, but many don’t realize the very real consequences of high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks. Here’s what you and your senior loved one should know about cholesterol levels.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by the liver and found in many foods. It circulates through the blood and serves an important function, although too much cholesterol can harm blood vessels and the heart. There are actually two forms of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. HDL cholesterol prevents LDL cholesterol from building up in the bloodstream, but LDL cholesterol is usually responsible for dangerously high cholesterol levels. Most people don’t realize they have high cholesterol because it has no outward symptoms. Detecting high cholesterol is simple with a blood test. Seniors should have their cholesterol levels checked every few years (or more often if they have risk factors for high cholesterol).
Helping a loved one maintain healthy cholesterol levels can be challenging. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Columbus, OH, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Why Is High Cholesterol Dangerous?
High cholesterol is extremely dangerous when left untreated, and it can have a major impact on a senior’s quality of life. According to the CDC, one in six adults has high cholesterol, although seniors are at higher risk because cholesterol tends to increase with age for a number of reasons. High cholesterol interferes with how the blood flows, and it can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, blockages in the brain, chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, and gallstones.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
How Can Seniors Lower Cholesterol?
Though genetics and age play a role in having high cholesterol, there are a few lifestyle habits that can impact cholesterol levels as well. Consuming large quantities of saturated fats and trans fatty acids can create a plaque buildup in the veins. Some of the other variables that can affect your loved one’s cardiovascular health include weight, blood sugar levels, stress levels, and overall fitness. Help your loved one guard against the dangers of high cholesterol by encouraging him or her to exercise daily and avoid foods high in cholesterol, such as butter, bacon, red meat, and cheese.
With the right combination of a nutritious diet and regular exercise, your loved one can increase his or her chances of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Columbus Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (614) 481-8888.