5 Strategies for Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Past Age 65

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5 Strategies for Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Past Age 65

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 amount 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 also 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. 

 Family caregivers who sometimes find it challenging to prepare nutritious meals should consider enlisting the support of professional caregivers. 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. Home care service experts from Assisting Hands Home Care 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 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 make it challenging to exercise alone, a home caregiver can help. When considering in-home care, Frederick, MD, 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 they’re 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 senses of smell and taste are 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 needs help maintaining 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 elderly home care. Frederick families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (301) 786-5045 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.