5 Ways Seniors Can Lower Their Cholesterol Levels

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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. 

Consume More Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Salmon, almonds, and nuts are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower total cholesterol levels and raise high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). HDLs are 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 senior 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 of 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 Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of in-home care. Columbus seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable home caregivers.

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. 

Consider Taking Statins

Statins are effective in lowering lipid levels and the risk of 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 isn’t the only way older adults can boost their health. If your aging loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of homecare. 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.

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 of diabetes, renal disease, and circulation issues. Talk to a physician before advising your loved one to lose weight. 

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. A senior who takes 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. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Assisting Hands Home Care Columbus is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at 614-678-5887 to schedule a free consultation.