At least once a year your aging relative likely has a lipid panel taken when they visit the doctor. The results of a lipid panel help the doctor to determine if the senior has high cholesterol or other health problems that require treating. If your older family member’s doctor has told them their lipids are high, there are things they can do at home to improve their results.
What Are Lipids?
Lipids are what doctors call fats that appear in the blood. They aren’t really a bad thing. They’re needed for energy. Lipids join with protein to make lipoproteins, which the body uses to produce energy. Lipoproteins are also called cholesterol. There are two kinds of lipoproteins:
- High-Density Lipoproteins: These are also called HDL cholesterol. This is the “good” kind of cholesterol because it helps to prevent cholesterol from collecting in the arteries.
- Low-Density Lipoproteins: LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol that collects in arteries, which could cause a blockage. Having too much LDL cholesterol increases the chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
Together, these two kinds of lipoproteins provide the total cholesterol number found on a lipid panel. A normal total cholesterol is 200 mg per dL or lower. LDL cholesterol should be at 130 mg per dL or lower.
How Can Lipids Be Lowered?
When a senior needs to lower their lipid levels, there are several lifestyle changes that can make a difference. Some of them are:
- Reduce Bad Fats: Eating fewer bad fats, saturated and trans fats, is an important step in reducing lipids. Saturated fats are mostly found in red meats and full-fat dairy products. Trans fats appear in margarine, store-bought baked goods, and crackers.
- Eat More Fiber: Soluble fiber, which is found in things like oatmeal and apples, helps to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Exercise: Older adults should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on 5 days of the week. Some good forms of exercise are a brisk walk, swimming, or riding a bike.
- Lose Weight: Seniors who are overweight should try to reach a healthy weight and stay there. Achieving a healthy weight is a combination of eating a healthy diet and exercising enough to burn more calories than they consume.
A senior care provider can help your older family member to work toward lowering their lipids. A senior care provider can cook healthy meals that are low in saturated fat and avoid trans fats. Senior care providers can also assist older adults to exercise and increase their physical activity. Senior care providers can take walks with them, drive them to the gym, and involve them in activities around the house.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Medical Lake, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.