Has your aging loved one been smoking for most of their adult life? If they are battling a lifetime habit of smoking, they may have given up on ever quitting, thinking it is too late. While it’s true that quitting smoking is an extremely difficult challenge, millions of people do so successfully each year. As seniors and their family members grow increasingly concerned about their health, many try to quit smoking once and for all. Family caregivers can do a lot to help their aging loved ones on their quest to quit smoking.
Is It Too Late to Quit?
Health experts emphatically support the idea that it is never too late to quit smoking, no matter what age or health conditions affect the person. When adults stop smoking, the health benefits that take place are both immediate and are part of a long-term boost to wellness. These positive health impacts are a major motivation for aging adults to propel them toward success.
Smoking is detrimental to a person’s health and has been linked to numerous illnesses and diseases like cancer, heart disease and respiratory illnesses. Smoking also makes other unrelated illnesses worse, such as diabetes, bone weakness, eye problems and blood pressure. Studies show that when people quit smoking, their body starts to do better in a matter of days and weeks. Over time, seniors can regain some of the health benefits that smoking takes away.
Family Caregivers Can Help Elders Stop Smoking
The most successful cases of seniors who stop smoking all begin with a visit to the doctor. With a thorough health exam and recommendations for medication like gum and patches, doctors can help family caregivers and aging relatives with a treatment plan. They can also connect with other resources to help reach the goal.
A strong support group is vital to successfully quitting smoking. Family caregivers need to get elder care providers, family members and friends on board to support the aging adult and become familiar with the treatment plan. Having a support group will make the process easier on the senior. Elder care providers and family caregivers can help by providing gum and snacks when cravings hit, distract the senior with interesting hobbies, avoiding triggers and making sure they are taking medication properly.
Providing that emotional support is the main job of family caregivers and elder care providers. Elderly adults will need that inspiration from supporters to keep them on the right path toward quitting. It’s also important for family caregivers and elder care providers to help seniors move forward when they make mistakes and relapse. However, once the aging adult leaves smoking behind forever, it will be well worth it and they can look forward to a happier, healthier life.