Cholesterol is an important part of the body that is needed to build healthy cells. However, having too high of cholesterol levels puts people at risk for serious complications, including heart disease. High cholesterol levels are not uncommon in the elderly. In fact, it is estimated that 61% of men and women aged between 65 and 74 have elevated levels.
With such a large portion of the aging population affected, why isn’t high cholesterol and heart disease a more commonly talked about senior health issue? That’s exactly what the American Heart Association thought when they launched the now nationally recognized American Heart Month, an entire month dedicated to spreading awareness about heart disease and heart health. In honor of this campaign, Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma City wanted to share some simple ways seniors could lower their cholesterol to live a more heart healthy life.
Seniors should adopt an active lifestyle, to the extent that their physical abilities allow. This will help lower cholesterol as well as improve overall cardiovascular health. Physical activity can come in many different forms, and seniors should find an activity that they enjoy so that they will keep doing it. Some ideas include walking, gardening, water aerobics, or even vigorous house cleaning.
Nutrition is just as important as physical exercise when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Fiber is key when it comes to reducing bad cholesterol, so seniors should strive to adopt a diet that is rich in fiber. This includes fruits and vegetables, especially green and leafy vegetables, as well as unrefined grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats. If a senior’s current diet doesn’t include much fiber, be sure to introduce it in gradual amounts, so that their body can adjust and digest comfortably.
Don’t forget that many seniors find themselves losing weight as they age. Therefore, it’s important to also incorporate healthy fats into the diet, including foods like salmon, nuts, and olive oils. If you’re aging parent or loved one is unfamiliar with these items or is unsure of how to prepare and incorporate them into his or her daily diet, accompany them to the grocery store and assist them with meal preparation whenever possible. In the times you are not available to assist, consider help from professional hourly home caregivers in Oklahoma. These individuals can provide reliable transportation for errands, nutritious meal preparation and can help with household chores and personal care.
With these simple changes, seniors can lower their cholesterol and live a long and healthy life! For more information about how to maintain heart health with age or to find support for an aging parent or love one, call 405-285-4191 and speak to a friendly Home Care Assistance Care Manager. We offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations that can take place in the comfort of your home.