Is It Too Late for Your Senior Parent to Quit Smoking?
If your aging parent smokes, and has for many years, they may think theres no reason for them to quit now. After all, with years of smoking, the damage is already done, right? Wrong. Experts say that it is never too late to quit smoking, and achieve better health because of it.
Dangers of Smoking
If your parent needs a little convincing to quit, here are some fast facts about smoking that might do the trick:
- According to the CDC, more than 480,000 people die each year as a result of smoking. Thats almost one out of every five deaths.
- Seniors are already at risk for certain health problems, like respiratory illness, cancer, and heart disease, and smoking increases their risk even more.
- Smoking can make it harder for an older adults body to use some kinds of commonly prescribed medicines.
- Smoking makes a persons overall health worse, which leads to going to the doctor more often and higher healthcare costs.
- Older adults who smoke suffer from mental illness and depression more often.
Benefits of Quitting
When your parent quits smoking, they can expect to benefit in many ways, like:
- Saving money previously spent on cigarettes.
- A lowered risk of death, even if they have already been diagnosed with a condition related to smoking.
- Better overall health, which could result in spending less on healthcare.
- Better smelling house, clothes, and car.
- Reduce the risks associated with second-hand smoke for friends, relatives, and even pets.
- A greatly reduced risk of heart attack within just one year of quitting.
- Lowering the risk of a stroke to that of a non-smoker within two to five years.
- Decreased risk of certain cancers.
How to Quit
Quitting smoking is hard, especially for long-time smokers. But, there are many things your parent can do that will make quitting easier. First, they should talk to their doctor. There are medications and other treatments available for smoking cessation. Counseling can also help, whether individual or group. It can also be helpful to have a plan for how they will deal with the urge to smoke.
A senior care provider can also be useful in helping your parent to quit smoking. Having someone around will make it less likely that your parent will sneak a cigarette. A senior care provider can also distract them when they are having urges. If the doctor suggests medications, a senior care provider can remind your parent when it is time to take them. Finally, a senior care provider can be a great support system and companion when quitting gets difficult.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Coon Rapids, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.