Community Blog

Cholesterol and Elderly Adults - What Family Caregivers Need to Know

By Erin Carll

Senior Care in Allison Park PA

Senior Care in Allison Park PAWhen your elderly loved one gets diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may have a million questions on your mind. You probably have heard bad things about cholesterol and its effects on the heart and health in general. The good news is that caregivers can help their loved one to lower their cholesterol and help them to prevent serious health conditions such as heart attack and stroke when they are educated about cholesterol, what it is, and what it does. Read on for some answers to some common questions about cholesterol to help put your mind at ease and help you to take action and help your loved one to lower their high cholesterol.

What is the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol is often referred to as badcholesterol while HDL cholesterol is considered goodcholesterol. LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) contributes to the formation of plaque in the arteries which can clog or block them, leading to heart attack or stroke. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, helps to keep LDL cholesterol out of the arteries by carrying them to the liver where they can be broken down by the body.

What does a high cholesterol diagnosis mean?

Doctors recommend that all adults get their cholesterol levels tested regularly. If your loved one has a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol, they may be at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. The good news is, there are many ways your loved one can get these cholesterol levels back to a healthy range.

How can high cholesterol be lowered?

Many times, doctors will prescribe medications to your loved one to help lower their cholesterol. A common type of cholesterol-lowering drugs are statins. Statins are effective at lowering LDL cholesterol levels and raising HDL cholesterol levels but they are most effective when elderly adults make cholesterol-lowering lifestyle changes as well. These include eating a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol.

Are there foods my loved one should avoid and ones they should eat more of?

Yes, foods such as oats, nuts, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables are great for a heart healthy diet. On the other hand, fatty foods such as bacon, butter, and red meat are not the best choices for a heart healthy diet.

Source: https://www.caring.com/cholesterol

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home senior care in Allison Park, PA please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.