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5 Ways for Seniors to Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels

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Cholesterol levels are routinely checked when seniors have annual physicals. The lab test typically reveals the values for high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides. HDL levels should be 60 mg/dl or higher, LDL levels should be under 129 mg/dl, and triglyceride levels should be 150 mg/dl or less. When LDL and triglyceride levels are too high, healthcare providers often prescribe statin medications. However, there are natural ways to keep cholesterol levels within normal limits. 

1. Follow a Balanced Diet

Controlling the types of foods consumed is a good way to keep cholesterol in check. Older adults should increase the number of vegetables and fruits they eat. Meats should consist mainly of poultry and fish. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which raise HDL levels while lowering triglycerides. Avocados and olive oil are ideal choices as well. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products are needed along with whole grains. Seniors should avoid foods with saturated fats because they increase LDL levels. Aging adults should try to get 20 to 35 grams of soluble fiber daily in the form of bran, barley, beans, oats, and whole grains. 

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. Fort Myers 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.

2. Lose Weight

Many people who have high LDL and triglyceride levels are also often overweight. The excess weight has the potential for contributing to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Seniors should make healthier food choices and reduce portion sizes. They should also increase physical activity to burn more calories than they consume.

3. Exercise Regularly

Engaging in regular physical activity burns calories. Older adults should get up to 150 minutes of exercise each week. There are many ways older adults can become more active regardless of their current physical condition. Power walking can be easily accomplished indoors or out. Seniors might want to consider taking advantage of indoor fitness centers or tracks within their communities. Malls are another option. Stationary or traditional cycling provides a low-impact workout, or seniors can join a water aerobics class or simply go swimming. Even sedentary seniors can increase their physical activity by starting with walks or exercising during TV commercial breaks

If your loved one has health conditions or mobility issues that pose challenges to exercising 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, Fort Myers, FL, 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.

4. Stop Smoking

Smoking cigarettes or cigars has been proven to raise LDL levels and decrease HDL levels. The tar, nicotine, and other chemicals in tobacco products also constrict blood vessels and raise the heart rate. If unable to quit cold turkey, seniors should discuss smoking cessation options with their healthcare providers. Within 20 minutes of not smoking, vital signs normalize. Blood circulation increases in three months, and breathing is also easier. In addition, the sense of smell and taste is typically enhanced.

5. Limit Alcohol Intake

Drinking a glass of red wine daily has cardiovascular benefits. However, exceeding the recommended limit increases triglyceride levels and endangers the cardiovascular system. Older men and women shouldn’t exceed one alcoholic drink per day.

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 at-home care. Fort Myers 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 compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 239.449.4701 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.