Because high cholesterol typically doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms, it can be easy to write it off as nothing to worry about. However, it is a condition that your older family member needs to take seriously. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, so understanding more about it is important to helping a senior take control of the problem and manage it.
Home Health Care Huntington Beach CA – What You Need to Know About High Cholesterol
Doctors typically describe cholesterol as being a waxy substance. The body uses it to build healthy cells. There are two kinds of cholesterol:
Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol. It is the kind that collects on artery walls, causing blood vessels to narrow and restricting blood flow.
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): This is the “good” cholesterol. It helps the body to rid itself of extra bad cholesterol by transporting it to the liver where it is removed as a waste product.
Because high cholesterol doesn’t have symptoms, the only way to know if your aging relative’s high cholesterol is being controlled is by having a blood test.
Causes of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol can be hereditary. Some people inherit genetic traits from a parent or grandparent that causes their body to make too much cholesterol. This kind of high cholesterol can be particularly dangerous because it can result in people developing heart disease at an earlier age. However, most people don’t have this form of high cholesterol.
For most people, high cholesterol is caused by a combination of lifestyle factors. Behaviors that can lead to high cholesterol include:
Eating a poor diet.
Being overweight or obese.
How Home Health Care Can Help Manage High Cholesterol
Home health care can help your older relative to make the kinds of changes that can make a difference in their cholesterol levels. Some of the ways home health care can assist with managing high cholesterol are:
Cooking balanced meals that include plenty of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean sources of protein. Home health care providers can even drive the older adult to the grocery store and help them to shop.
Encouraging them to quit smoking by offering support and distractions when they have the urge to smoke. In fact, just having a home health care provider present may be beneficial when they are trying to quit smoking because they will be less likely to smoke in front of someone who knows they are supposed to be quitting.
Increasing the amount of physical activity the older adult engages in. A home health care provider can offer activities that require movement, such as taking walks, playing an active video game, or exercising to a video at home.
In addition to assisting with lifestyle changes, a home health care provider can also remind your loved one to take their cholesterol medications and drive them to doctor appointments.