Cholesterol is one of those things that almost everyone knows that they need to manage, but not everyone knows exactly how to do this, a new reports from the American Heart Association says. About 800 people were surveyed to get a better idea for some of the mindsets that those being treated for cardiac issues might have, and those with high cholesterol levels were included. The survey was conducted so that some of the mental barriers that individuals faced could be better understood and addressed.
As you might know, the elderly are at a significantly higher risk of high cholesterol. Not only is this population at a higher risk than many younger individuals, the repercussions of unchecked cholesterol levels can be far deadlier than high cholesterol in a younger person.
Unchecked cholesterol levels, as well as many other heart diseases, can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and other serious consequences. When these occur in an older person, the impact is far more devastating. The chances of a fatal outcome are higher, and if the person suffering does survive, their recovery is often far more difficult. This often results in a disability, sometimes of a permanent nature. When this happens, senior care might be needed far earlier than expected. Even if something like in-home care is appropriate to cover all of your loved one’s needs, this places stress, emotionally, physically, and financially, on family members like you. If care can be avoided because of better health, this is the obvious path that you should guide your family toward.
As this study pointed out though, it’s not always that easy.
Another large issue when it comes to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is that those with elevated cholesterol often feel like they cannot adequately improve their health. This mindset is sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those with unhealthy levels feel like it’s an impossible task, so they don’t take the appropriate steps to try and improve their health. This makes their health even worse.
Heart disease kills about 2.6 million people every year, and high cholesterol is a known contributor to this. One of the more disturbing things discovered by the above mentioned survey is the fact that although cholesterol is known to have a huge impact on health, a very small percentage of individuals had been having their cholesterol levels regularly monitored. Less than half of those surveyed had had this checked in the last year. Most of the people that were interviewed revealed that they felt like they could do very little to influence this. Some of this was because of a lack of information, and some was because of becoming frustrated in the past when attempts to control this failed.
The issue becomes clear when these bits of data are put together. People seemed unsure of how to improve their health, but were not getting the proper tests done to know what their cholesterol levels were. This should underscore the importance of going into the doctor for regularly scheduled physicals, both for our elderly parents and for ourselves.