Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and high cholesterol is one of the most significant indicators of risk. Unfortunately, nearly 100 million American adults have high cholesterol, and this tends to be more common in seniors.
In honor of February as American Heart Month, a campaign hosted by the American Heart Association to spread awareness about heart disease and related conditions, Boca Raton Home Care Assistance wanted to share some simple ways seniors can get their cholesterol under control. Doing so is essential for reducing risk of heart disease and can also promote health and longevity for aging adults.
- Eat More Fiber – Eating fiber-rich foods can promote digestive health and can help seniors achieve a feeling of fullness. However, it’s also an effective way to keep cholesterol levels under control. Normally, your body absorbs dietary cholesterol through the digestive tract. When combined with dietary fiber, however, the fiber acts like a sponge, soaking up the extra cholesterol and carrying it out of the body.
- Laugh More Often – The old saying that laughter is the best medicine is continually being proven true. Scientists have already found that people who laugh frequently are less likely to suffer from depression, heart attack and stroke. Now, research is showing that laughter can also help to cut your levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol are strongly correlated with increased cardiac death, so lowering it is key to decreasing your risk.
- Avoid Excessive Carbohydrate Consumption – Everyone loves sugary treats, but if you want to avoid heart disease, it’s best not to overindulge. Carbohydrates, especially refined flour and sugar, oxidize LDL cholesterol in the body. This changes it to a substance called VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which causes significantly more damage than LDL alone. Oxidized cholesterol is more likely to adhere to arterial walls, creating brittle plaques that can promote blood clots and blocked arteries, therefore leading to heart attack or stroke.
- Attend Regular Check-Ups – With age, attending routine medical check-ups becomes of even more importance. Doctors will be able to monitor cholesterol, prescribe medications and offer treatments should levels be too high, and can better catch health issues before they become serious problems. Unfortunately, many seniors skip appointments out of fear or because they lack the ability to get to their appointment. Going with your loved one can provide them with support, or you may consider an hourly caregiver in Boca Raton who can offer reliable transportation, can help take notes during the appointment, and can implement doctor recommended changes through care at home.
Heart disease is a growing problem among older adults. Fortunately, with proper changes to diet and lifestyle habits, the risk can be greatly reduced. Try incorporating some of these tips into your loved one’s daily life and fight back against heart disease and other conditions such as heart attack and stroke.
To find out how you can support your loved one in their fight against cardiovascular conditions, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Boca Raton today. We offer flexible hourly and live-in care, as well as in-home stroke care in Boca Raton that focuses on a balanced approach to care to promote healthy eating, daily exercise, social ties and calmness and purpose for seniors. Request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager at 561-826-9282 and promote a heart-healthy lifestyle for your parent, grandparent or loved one.