Learning that your loved one has high cholesterol levels means that you need to gather a lot of information, fast. Here are some questions that you need to ask your loved one’s doctor in order to start forming a plan of action.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
Often when you get your loved one’s test results back, you’ve got a list of numbers that can be hard to understand. Make sure that you and your loved one get a thorough explanation of each set of numbers and what they mean for your loved one’s current and future health.
What Are We Aiming for with the Next Test?
Having a goal gives you and your loved one something to aim for with the next blood test. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about where their cholesterol numbers should be and what it might take to get to that point. Chances are very good that it will take some time to hit that goal, so don’t worry if the very next test only shows a slight improvement.
How Often Should Your Senior Be Tested?
Your loved one’s doctor may want her to be tested a couple of times a year or annually. Much of that depends on her other health conditions, how high her cholesterol levels are now, and what sorts of options you have for treating the high cholesterol.
What Lifestyle Changes Make Sense Now?
If your elderly parent already exercises, eats well, and doesn’t smoke, you may think that there isn’t much that she can do to change her lifestyle. But there may still be dietary changes or an increase in exercise that can help. Go through all of the options with her doctor to be sure.
Is Medication Necessary?
If your senior loved one isn’t able to make many lifestyle changes or her cholesterol is extremely high, her doctor may recommend that she begins taking medication to lower her cholesterol. Be sure to ask about potential side effects and whether the medication will interact with any of the medications your loved one currently takes.
Once you’ve got your answers, you’re well on your way to having a plan for your parent’s cholesterol that you can put into action. If your loved one has senior care providers or gets help from other family members, keep everyone in the loop for the best results.