Managing cholesterol in retirement is vital: senior living communities can help
September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which reminds us to be attentive to our cholesterol levels. One of the best measures that seniors can take to safeguard against heart disease is monitoring these levels.
With increased age, the risk of heart disease grows, particularly if cholesterol is high or other risk factors are present: elevated blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity and inactivity. Managing cholesterol levels is always important but even more so after age 65 and up.
Monitor and treat cholesterol with a physician’s guidance
In determining seniors’ cardiovascular risk, physicians look at their cholesterol levels and also consider their age, sex and family history. Seniors diagnosed with heart disease or who have high risk factors should have their cholesterol checked regularly, at least twice a year or more often if their physician suggests.
Both “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and “good” cholesterol (HDL) can be measured. The human body needs both LDL and HDL to function properly, but if too much LDL remains in the bloodstream, it can clog arteries. HDL helps the body manage and eliminate excess LDL. A total cholesterol level of under 200 is generally desirable.
Physicians may counsel those with high LDL to adopt a meal plan low in cholesterol and saturated fats, begin cholesterol-lowering medication or lose weight. Even modest weight loss makes a difference. Research by the American Dietetic Association research shows that a 5-10 percent weight loss can substantially lower cholesterol, as well as blood pressure.
Women tend to have higher good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels than men, but that can change after menopause. Therefore, beginning in their 50s and thereafter, women should pay more attention to their levels.
Our senior living community helps seniors monitor, manage risk factors
The staff at Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg, PA takes pride in working closely with our residents to monitor risk factors for disease and help them stay healthy. We do this through fitness classes, quality dining, socialization through community life activities and even support for chronic conditions with restorative care. As a result, many residents are able to continue living in our senior living facility rather than move elsewhere to a long-term care senior living home, also known as a nursing home.
If you’re wondering, “Is there a health-centered, senior living community near me” in south central Pennsylvania, we invite you learn more about Ecumenical Retirement Community. Contact us to schedule a visit and find out more about our senior living services.
Families of seniors with chronic illness or who are recovering from surgery often find our physical support program meets their needs for care and rehabilitation just as well as a nursing home. We would be glad to talk with you to tell you more about our physical support program.