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Why HDL Cholesterol Is Good for an Elderly Person

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on January 18, 2016

While having high cholesterol levels is generally considered unhealthy, this mainly applies to LDL, also known as bad cholesterol. However, HDL cholesterol, which is considered a good type of cholesterol, can provide significant health benefits for seniors receiving Phoenix in-home care. Here are just a few of those benefits.

It Can Lower Levels of LDL Cholesterol

Maintaining adequate levels of good cholesterol can help lower bad cholesterol levels. This results in a lower risk of heart disease and other health conditions that can be serious or even fatal. Ideally, your loved one should have HDL cholesterol levels higher than 60 milligrams per deciliter. Levels lower than 40 milligrams per deciliter can increase the risk of heart disease.

It Helps Prevent Atherosclerosis

LDL cholesterol is a major contributor to atherosclerosis, which causes plaque to build up on the inner walls of veins and arteries and raises the risk of heart attacks in seniors. HDL cholesterol helps keep blood vessels free of plaque, leading to a lower risk of developing this disease and other heart problems.

It Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer

Colon cancer mainly affects those over 50 and results in the deaths of thousands of seniors in the U.S. each year. A study conducted in Europe suggests having high levels of good cholesterol might lead to a lower risk of colon cancer for some seniors.

Seniors who have low levels of good cholesterol can raise them in the following ways:

  • Exercising regularly. This involves working out for at least 30 minutes per day for optimum health.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. This can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other diseases associated with obesity like type 2 diabetes.
  • Avoiding smoking. Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels, making it harder to get rid of bad cholesterol levels.
  • Eating healthy. More fatty fish, vegetables, and fiber and less sugar in the diet can be especially helpful.

Just a few simple changes such as these can help your loved one maintain proper cholesterol levels and live a long and healthy life. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with many other daily tasks that can boost your loved one’s health. For seniors who need more comprehensive care, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Phoenix. To learn more about the effects of good and bad cholesterol and to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 602.388.1085 today.