Archive | January, 2014

High Cholesterol: It’s Bad for Your Health

Our residents have their cholesterol and other health needs monitored by the nursing staff.

Our residents have their cholesterol and other health needs monitored by the nursing staff.

High cholesterol is not something with which we are born. Rather, it is something that develops over time as a result of the choices we make around food. Our body reacts to our nutrition and dietary decisions, which might result in high cholesterol.

Surprisingly, only one-fourth of blood cholesterol is ingested from our diet. The majority of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced in the liver. Our bodies require some cholesterol and it is an important part of our composition. Often, though, older adults have too much cholesterol, which can be problematic in maintaining a healthy body. An excess of cholesterol builds as plaque in the arteries, which slows the flow of blood throughout our system. Unfortunately, buildup often occurs in the coronary arteries, which prevents blood from getting to the heart. Clogging of the arteries can lead to heart disease, which is a serious long-term consequence of high cholesterol.

According to Web MD, there are several ways to reduce cholesterol. First, you must set a target. If you’re caring for an older adult, have a conversation with him/her and discuss the target cholesterol number. It’s important that the conversation is collaborative. Older adults should feel accountable to their own heath, even if they are receiving support from people who love them. Avoiding saturated fats, increasing fiber, and other nutritional changes are essential. Also, increasing physical activity is key. If physical activity is difficult, find other ways to stay active like lifting weights or using a stationary exercise bicycle.

Meet Lori DiTomaso, Food Service Supervisor
Lori has been cooking at the Doolittle Home for 20 years, but first heard about it from her father who serviced the piano at the home. She was quick to explain that it “feels more like a family than a job.” Lori enjoys getting to know each of the residents and she enjoys watching the young dining room staff interact with the residents. It is good for both the high school students and the residents. Compared to other facilities she has worked in, it is unique to have personal relationships with each student. Lori feels that “all staff truly care about the residents and the home. They are not just doing their job.” This leads to staff longevity which enables the residents to know the staff they interact with each day. Contrary to what some might believe, Lori explains that her cooking at the home is quite varied. She reviews menus with the residents on a bi-monthly basis and incorporates their suggestions for new dishes. She also explained how individual needs are addressed to ensure the dining experience is positive for each resident. For those who may have difficulty cutting their meat, it is cut for them in the kitchen and served cut up so they can enjoy their meal without feeling embarrassed to ask for assistance or to struggle on their own.

For more information about The Doolittle Home or to schedule a tour, please call us at 508-543-2694 or click here to visit our website.

References
http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/articles/cholesterol-in-seniors

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