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Combatting High Blood Cholesterol in the Elderly

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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Elderly care providers may be taking care of an adult who has high blood cholesterol. The elderly adult may be on medication for this condition, and have some doctor’s advice to follow. There will be therapeutic lifestyle changes that must be made including a diet that lowers blood cholesterol, some weight management and physical activity to incorporate.

What does the dietary change include?

  • It will be necessary to limit the amount of Trans fat, cholesterol and especially saturated fat that is consumed.
  • Only enough calories that are required to achieve or maintain a level of healthy weight should be consumed daily.
  • Soluble fiber in the diet should be increased; this can be done by eating foods high in soluble fiber like kidney beans, apples and oatmeal.
  • Adding foods that lower cholesterol, such as fruits and juices that contain plant sterols or plant stanols.

Elderly Care in Jacksonville, FLWhy is weight management important?

If the person is overweight, reducing weight to a healthier level can help to lower the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. A large waist measurement (over 40 inches for men and over 35 inches for women is considered too large) is a risk factor.

Why is physical activity important?

It is another aspect of a therapeutic lifestyle change. Of course, healthy levels of physical activity are recommended for everyone. It helps to raise the good cholesterol levels (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol levels (LDL).

For people with high triglyceride and/or low levels of HDL physical activity is doubly important.

Why is it so important to lower your LDL levels (bad cholesterol)?

  • Lower LDL levels help to prevent a heart attack from happening.
  • Helps to reduce the number of deaths resulting from heart disease for both women and men
  • It can lower, slow down, stop or sometimes even reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
  • The process of lowering LDL levels is particularly important for those people who’ve already had heart disease or even who have already had a heart attack.
  • Prevents future heart attacks
  • Can prolong life at a healthier level

What are some of the LDL risk factors?

  • High blood pressure or being on blood pressure medication
  • Family history of heart disease before age 55 for men or age 65 for women
  • Age of the person
  • Low levels of HDL (good cholesterol)

As an elderly care provider you can give the much needed encouragement to your elderly adult to follow and maintain the doctor’s recommendations for lifestyle changes.

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