High cholesterol is thought to be a risk factor in the development of heart disease, and it’s mostly the result of lifestyle choices. Here are five ways seniors can lower their cholesterol levels and enjoy a high quality of life.
1. Consume More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, almonds, and nuts are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your senior loved one’s total cholesterol level and raise high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). HDLs are also known as good cholesterol because they play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids may lower levels of bad cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). Before encouraging your loved one to eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, check with his or her physician. Omega-3 fatty acids can interact with prescription anticoagulant medications and aspirin and heighten the risk for abnormal bleeding.
Many older adults require help with preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Scottsdale seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
2. Exercise Regularly
Participating in an exercise program can drastically reduce cholesterol levels. Almost all types of exercise are beneficial, including taking leisurely strolls after dinner. Increased activity can lower cholesterol levels, enhance cardiovascular function, and allow blood to pump more efficiently to the internal organs. While exercise has many health benefits, you should check with a doctor to ensure your loved one is healthy enough to tolerate physical activity.
3. Consider Taking Statins
Statins are effective in lowering lipid levels and the risk for heart attacks and strokes. While statin medications are good at reducing bad cholesterol levels, they may cause significant side effects in some seniors. These side effects include muscle pain, elevated liver enzymes, gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue. Have a conversation with the physician about the risks and benefits of statin medications to help your loved one make an informed decision about taking these medicines.
Taking statin medications is not the only way older adults can boost their health. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Scottsdale senior care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is one of the most common risk factors for high cholesterol. Losing even a few pounds can have a favorable effect on total cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. While overall weight loss lowers cholesterol levels, decreasing abdominal fat may play an even greater role in lipid reduction. Shedding a few pounds also lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk for diabetes, renal disease, and circulation issues. Talk to the physician before advising your loved one to lose weight.
5. Watch Medication Side Effects
Certain medications can raise total cholesterol and LDL levels while lowering HDLs, the heart-healthy lipids. Beta blockers are used in treating cardiac arrhythmia, high blood pressure, migraines, essential tremors, and anxiety, and they may be a risk factor in the development of high cholesterol. Seniors who take beta blockers should talk to a doctor. If the doctor determines the beta blockers are contributing to elevated cholesterol levels, the dosage may be lowered or a different medication may be prescribed.
By making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults can reduce their cholesterol levels. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, a caregiver from Home Care Assistance Scottsdale can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.