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High Cholesterol: Everything Older Adults Need to Know

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

High cholesterol is a major concern for any adult, especially those over age 65. To encourage seniors to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, Warren caregivers want to share an overview of the effects of having high cholesterol and how to prevent it.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is commonly made in the liver, but it can also be found in many foods. LDL is often referred to as “bad cholesterol” because it clings to the walls of blood vessels and arteries. Within a short period, LDL can damage the heart as well as the rest of the cardiovascular system. HDL is generally called “good cholesterol” because it breaks apart pockets of LDL known as plaque. 

Understanding the Numbers

The liver produces around 75 percent of all cholesterol found in the body. The other 25 percent comes from food. After having their cholesterol tested, seniors should be given a number between 190 and 260. Healthy seniors should keep their total cholesterol below 200 and their LDL cholesterol around 100. If your elderly loved one’s LDL cholesterol level is above 160, he or she must start making sweeping lifestyle changes.

The Risks of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is extremely dangerous when left untreated, and it can have a major impact on a senior’s quality of life. Heart attacks and heart disease are two of the most common byproducts of high LDL levels, which also increase the risk of developing dementia and memory loss. These are just a few of the reasons why all seniors should have their cholesterol levels tested at least once or twice a year. 

How to Keep Cholesterol Low

Though genetics and age play a role in having high cholesterol, there are a few lifestyle habits that can impact cholesterol levels as well. Consuming large quantities of saturated fats and trans fatty acids can create a plaque buildup in the veins. Some of the other variables that can affect your loved one’s cardiovascular health include weight, blood sugar levels, stress levels, and overall fitness.

With the right combination of a nutritious diet and regular exercise, your loved one can increase his or her chances of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on eating well, exercising often, and many other factors that promote longevity. For more information on the in-home elder care Warren, NJ, families trust and rely on, please call 908.450.9400 to speak with a qualified Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.