Smoking is a powerful addiction that can be challenging to stop at any age, and seniors are often hit hardest by the negative consequences of this habit because they’ve indulged in it for many years. While some seniors may feel as though the damage has already been done, the truth is that stopping the habit now can result in a greater quality of life that extends their longevity. Here are some details about the importance of living a smoke-free lifestyle in the golden years and how to achieve this goal.
The Impact of Tobacco on Senior Health
Smoking can put seniors at higher risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, and other serious health conditions, which is why family members need to help their older loved ones give up cigarettes. Even if your loved one has smoked for many years without consequences, minor health problems can easily turn into serious conditions due to the impact of smoking. For example, seniors who smoke are at greater risk for brittle bones due to osteoporosis, and a simple fall could lead to a broken bone that requires hospitalization.
Many seniors aren’t aware that the toxic compounds found in tobacco products make them more vulnerable to seasonal colds and viruses such as the flu. Smoking can increase the danger of viral infections because it causes damage to the cilia, the tiny hairs that line the respiratory tract. Respiratory infections can also quickly spiral out of control due to lung damage caused by smoking. COPD, emphysema, and persistent bronchitis are all more common among smokers and can require hospitalization.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Calgary seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Immediate Effects of Stopping Now
The majority of seniors understand that quitting smoking will increase their longevity, but they’ll also enjoy several other benefits. Your parent may notice these benefits within the first few minutes or days of quitting smoking, and they could impact his or her quality of life for years to come. These benefits include:
- Enhanced ability to taste foods
- Increased circulation
- More energy for exercise and leisure activities
- Saved money
- Decreased risk of illness
From making healthy lifestyle choices to handling daily activities, older adults may need help with an array of tasks. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Tips for Quitting Smoking
Quitting a lifelong habit may be difficult, but there are several things seniors can do to increase their chances of success. First, your loved one should consult with a physician, who may recommend medications or behavioral modifications that can help with smoking cessation. Your loved one can also try the following strategies that have helped others successfully quit:
- Replace cigarettes with healthy alternatives, such as gum or a walk after dinner
- Join a support group
- Use money normally spent on cigarettes to purchase a reward
- Avoid smokers
- Keep hands busy with activities such as knitting, playing cards, or playing video games
Some seniors need help giving up smoking and making other positive lifestyle changes. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Calgary Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 403-301-3777 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services