High cholesterol is thought to play a role in the development of heart disease. While statin medications can help seniors maintain healthy cholesterol levels, they can lead to serious side effects. Here are five natural ways aging adults can maintain healthy cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other serious issues.
Engaging in moderate exercise is an important lifestyle habit that can prevent elevated cholesterol levels. Exercising can also help aging adults manage stress. Seniors with anxiety and stress may be at high risk for high cholesterol. Any type of exercise, even leisurely strolls, can have beneficial effects on blood lipid levels. Before encouraging your senior loved one to participate in a walking program, check with his or her doctor to make sure your loved one is fit enough to increase activity levels.
If your loved one has health conditions or mobility issues that make it challenging to exercise alone, it may be a good idea to bring in a trained caregiver to provide support so your loved one can work out safely. When considering elderly home care, Henderson, NV, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
2. Lose Weight
One of the most important interventions in the management of high cholesterol is weight loss. Obesity could cause your loved one to develop low levels of high-density lipoproteins. These blood fats, also known as “good cholesterol,” are thought to protect against plaque buildup in the coronary arteries, so they should be high instead of low. If your loved one is unable to lose weight, make an appointment with the doctor, who can provide a list of healthy foods and recipes that promote weight loss. If warranted, the physician may recommend seeing a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan that lowers cholesterol and promotes weight loss.
Busy family caregivers who find it challenging to carve out time to shop for the most nutritious foods should think about enlisting the support of a professional caregiver, whether it’s for a few days every month or an hour or two every day. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Henderson respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
3. Avoid Smoking
Cigarette smoking is another risk factor in the development of high cholesterol. It raises total cholesterol, and it can lower high-density lipoproteins and raise low-density lipoproteins. Smoking may also elevate triglycerides, which can increase the risk for heart disease. If your loved one is unable to quit smoking, suggest cutting down. If need be, the physician can recommend effective smoking cessation treatments, including nicotine replacement patches and oral medications. The doctor may even recommend seeing a behavioral therapist who can treat your loved one with cognitive therapy, which may reduce the urge to smoke.
4. Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another effective strategy for lowering cholesterol is consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include almonds, walnuts, and fatty fish such as salmon. If your loved one is unable to eat salmon or nuts, ask the doctor about taking an over-the-counter omega-3 supplement. However, if your loved one takes prescription anticoagulants or a daily aspirin, omega-3 supplements may be contraindicated because of the risk of abnormal bleeding.
5. Limit Coffee Intake
Coffee is considered a healthy addition to a senior’s diet because it’s rich in antioxidants. However, it also contains several lipids and oils that may raise the risk of elevated cholesterol levels. While coffee filters reduce the amount of oils that get into the coffee, they’re unable to filter out all the unhealthy oils. A daily cup of coffee may not affect cholesterol levels, but drinking too much may raise your loved one’s low-density lipoproteins. These blood lipids are also known as “bad cholesterol” and may heighten the risk for heart disease.
If you have a loved one who finds it challenging to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, consider hiring a professional caregiver with training and expertise in proper nutrition for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Henderson families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (702) 527-7723 today.