Dyslipidemia is a lipoprotein metabolism disorder characterized by decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and increased total serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglyceride levels. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Kitchener families trust, wants to share some information on the risks for this condition and how you can help your elderly loved one prevent it.
Assessing the Risk Factors
Lipid imbalance can be detected with the help of a blood test known as the complete fasting lipoprotein profile. People with LDL levels of greater than 160 mg/dL and triglyceride levels of greater than 200 mg/dL are at a high risk, with men over 45 and women over 55 at the greatest risk of developing dyslipidemia. Family history can also play an important role in elevating cholesterol levels. While age and genetics are beyond control, many elderly people also have risk factors that can be managed effectively.
Common Risk Factors
Unhealthy Diet – A diet rich in saturated fats, triglycerides, cholesterol, and refined sugars can significantly increase your loved one’s risk of dyslipidemia. Focus on providing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products that provide essential nutrients without adversely impacting your loved one’s lipid metabolism.
Lack of Exercise – Many seniors experience joint pain, fatigue, and other complications that prevent them from exercising on a regular basis. However, lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for dyslipidemia. Your loved one should try to move as much as possible during the day. Help your loved one stay active by setting up simple targets and motivating him or her.
Obesity – Obese or overweight seniors are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with dyslipidemia. While experts do not recommend taking weight loss supplements, especially people over 65, a healthy diet and exercise can help your loved one manage weight and high cholesterol levels.
Diabetes – Elderly men and women with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing dyslipidemia because the liver converts excessive sugars in their bodies into cholesterol and saturated fats. Many experts also believe blood sugars damage the linings of the arteries and increase the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. If your loved one has diabetes, help him or her follow the treatment regimen to lower the glucose levels.
Smoking – Cigarette smoke can damage the arterial walls and cause the blood vessels to accumulate more fat. Seniors and caregivers in Kitchener can work together to stop or reduce nicotine consumption. Although it may be difficult, it is never too late for your loved one to quit.
If any of these risks factor into your loved one’s lifestyle, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help him or her remain healthy. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are available around the clock to assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with many other daily tasks. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Kitchener seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a free in-home consultation, call (519) 590-2792 today.