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Does Getting Older Cause Cholesterol to Increase?

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Anyone can develop high cholesterol, which is why seniors need to get regular cholesterol screenings and some healthcare providers order lab tests before they see individuals for checkups. Seniors who have never had cholesterol tests or haven’t in a while should request them. Age is a risk factor for elevated cholesterol, but a senior can reduce or prevent the effects of high cholesterol by following a healthcare provider’s recommendations.

What Puts Seniors at High Risk for Elevated Cholesterol?

Consuming foods high in cholesterol and fat puts seniors at risk for elevated cholesterol levels. Seniors who live alone often consume foods that require little or no preparation, including frozen dinners, snacks, and baked goods that contain trans fats. Trans fats come from oils that have been changed chemically or hydrogenated to behave like saturated fat in food. Examples of trans fats include shortening and margarine. Saturated fat is found mainly in animal products. Marbling on steaks and the fat left behind when cooking bacon or high-fat ground beef are examples of saturated fat. Saturated fat and trans fats remain solid at room temperature.

Lack of physical activity is an additional risk factor for high cholesterol. As people get older, they may not be able to exercise regularly. Postmenopausal women are at higher risk for elevated cholesterol. Genetics also plays a part in cholesterol levels, as individuals who have family histories of elevated cholesterol are more likely to develop the condition.

If you usually help your loved one prepare nutritious meals and exercise but you need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Edmonton respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

What Is a Healthy Total Cholesterol Level for Seniors?

Seniors should try to achieve a total cholesterol level under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Cholesterol between 200 and 239 mg/dL is in the borderline high range. A senior has high cholesterol when the reading is 240 mg/dL or above. In addition to being aware of total cholesterol levels, seniors and their caregivers should know how LDL and HDL cholesterol levels impact health.

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be an outstanding source of support for your loved one. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

What Is LDL Cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein, is the cholesterol that builds on the walls of the blood vessels. Less than 129 mg/dL is the target for seniors. Borderline high LDL is in the range of 160 to 189 mg/dL. An LDL level of 190 mg/dL or more is very high. High LDL cholesterol levels put seniors at risk for heart attack and stroke and can contribute to dementia.

What Is HDL Cholesterol?

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is good cholesterol because it removes extra cholesterol from the blood and takes it back to the liver, which breaks it down before it leaves the body. Seniors should work toward maintaining higher HDL levels. Ideally, HDL should be 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher. A senior with HDL in the 41 to 50 mg/dL range has borderline low HDL, and an aging adult with an HDL of 40 mg/dL or less is at higher risk for heart disease. 

In Edmonton, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379 to learn more about our high-quality home care services