It’s been said a million times, but it bears repeating. Seniors – whether they’re benefitting from home care or in an assisted living facility – have to keep a careful watch on their cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a leading contributor to heart disease, the leading killer of older Americans. To lower their risk of illness and death, seniors and their caregivers should carefully monitor cholesterol levels and work to keep their levels within reasonable limits.
Cholesterol – a fatty substance in the blood – is vital to various life functions, but too much of it can be dangerous and contribute to heart disease and other ills. Doctors say that total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL.
Cholesterol is also further broken down into LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL should be less than 130 mg/dL. HDL cholesterol should be above 35 mg/dL in men and 45 mg/dL in women.
If you have elevated cholesterol levels, your doctor will recommend treatment. To start, you’ll be told to make changes to your diet, limiting foods high in fat such as red meat, eggs, and fried foods. You’ll also need to up your fruit and vegetable intake and exercise more often.
Medications may also be prescribed to treat cholesterol. A doctor will determine whether medication is the best route, as some cholesterol treatments may have side effects.
The goal of your treatment will be to keep cholesterol within acceptable levels and, often, to also boost HDL cholesterol – also referred to as “good cholesterol.” Regular visits to a doctor can help seniors and their caregivers keep tight rein over cholesterol levels. Once you have visited a doctor, your non-medical home care caregiver from Always Best Care can help you maintain a healthy diet by setting up an eating and exercise schedule for you to follow.