Helping a Parent with High Cholesterol

Are you a chartered member of the so-called “sandwich generation”, struggling to take care of your aging parents while simultaneously raising your children? Such a tug-of-war between generations can be maddening enough, but when you add your mother or father’s high cholesterol in the mix, it can be downright life-destroying.

If you have a parent with high cholesterol symptoms who has been hesitant to check out methods to lower cholesterol (or defiant about their high cholesterol, even after a physician’s diagnosis), you may need some gentle ways to them lower cholesterol without seeming too pushy. Here, we’ll explore some methods of nudging mom or dad toward treat their high cholesterol symptoms.

Make Healthy Low Cholesterol Meals for Your Parents

Many older adults aren’t fond of cooking for themselves anymore, so they tend to either eat at “home cooking” (aka, “lard laden”) restaurants or at home with prepackaged high sodium, high fat microwavable meals. Such fare is simply not helpful to lower cholesterol, and may even be inching your parent toward dangerously high cholesterol levels.

The next time you’re making a healthy meal, why not freeze a portion to deliver to your parents as a surprise? Your food should be high in vitamin C to promote lower cholesterol, high in fiber, and, of course, low in saturated fats and calories. Learn to cook with spices and your parents will never notice that they’re eating something “good” that may reduce their high cholesterol symptoms.

Take Your Parents for a Cholesterol-Busting Walk

Exercise is an excellent way to tackle high cholesterol symptoms. However, most aging adults don’t get the recommended 30 minutes a day, three days a week, of moderate activity that they need to lower cholesterol and keep their hearts in tiptop shape.

It will go a long way toward helping your dad lower cholesterol if you invite him on a weekly “walking date” with you and/or your kids. Even a parent who is generally sedentary may jump (though not literally!) at the opportunity to spend some time with the grandkids.

Offer to Shop for Your Parents, and Get Lower Cholesterol Foods

Finally, it may behoove you to offer your shopping services for your parents. That way, you can choose the bulk of the groceries going in and out of your mother and father’s home. As the “dietician”, you can ensure that items which clog the arteries and therefore promote high cholesterol are replaced by more heart-healthy choices.

Best of all, you can be very subtle. If your dad adores peanut butter, get the low fat or all natural version. Does your mom crave loads of chocolate? Rather than getting her bags of candy, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to satisfy even the most ravenous chocoholic. Are they fond of pizza? There are lower cholesterol versions of them in your grocer’s freezer or at the natural food store.

Again, you don’t ever have to confront a parent about his or her high cholesterol. Instead, you can simply insert these “sneaky” ways to make sure you have your folks around for many more years to come.