6 Ways to Help Older Adults Give Up Smoking

6 Tips for Helping Seniors Quit Smoking

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It’s never too late to stop smoking. However, it can be difficult for seniors to quit, as many of them have been smoking for decades. To help your aging loved one quit the long standing habit, consider the following strategies.

1. Discuss the Benefits of Quitting

Seniors who still smoke probably understand the potential health consequences of smoking. Most people know smoking can lead to lung disease, heart disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, and osteoporosis, but knowledge alone isn’t always enough to let go of an addiction. 

If you want to convince your loved one to stop smoking, you may want to dwell on the positive effects of quitting rather than the negative effects of smoking. Remind your loved one that he or she may notice improvements in cardiovascular health after quitting cigarettes. If your loved one has grandkids, he or she will be setting a good example by giving up the habit.

Giving up smoking is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices older adults should consider. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care. Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Set a Date

Many smokers intend to quit but never quite manage to kick the habit. When smokers set specific dates to quit smoking, they’re more likely to succeed. If your loved one keeps pushing the date forward or renegotiating the terms of the cessation, he or she is more likely to backslide. Once your loved one decides it’s time to quit, help him or her choose a date to stop smoking for good and find the tools needed to stay away from cigarettes permanently.

3. See a Doctor 

When your loved one wants to quit, schedule an appointment with his or her primary doctor. If your loved one has been smoking for years, quitting is a major health decision. While going through nicotine withdrawal, your loved one may experience unpleasant side effects. The doctor can inform your loved one about potential side effects and provide medication and treatments to mitigate the side effects. The doctor might prescribe medicines to counteract the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as bupropion or varenicline.

Seniors who need help remembering to take their medications should consider professional in-home care. Danville home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing medication reminders and transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

4. Try Over-the-Counter Treatments 

Seniors can minimize the effects of nicotine withdrawal with over-the-counter treatments such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum. These treatments release a small amount of nicotine in the body, reducing the craving for nicotine and the withdrawal side effects.

5. Suggest Group Counseling

Sometimes seniors just need to feel like they’re not alone. If your loved one is having difficulty quitting, encourage him or her to attend counseling. Some seniors find individual therapy effective, while others prefer a group setting. Help your loved one find local group counseling options.

6. Find a Replacement for Tobacco Products 

When seniors first stop smoking, they’ll inevitably get cravings. To counteract the cravings, they should find a substitute for their cigarettes. If your loved one used to smoke every day at noon, he or she can calm that midday craving by drinking a cup of coffee or eating a piece of fruit instead. 

While these healthier options may not seem like adequate substitutes at first, the body will eventually get used to the change. Seniors should take note of when their cravings strike and stay away from temptation during these times. If your loved one craves a cigarette after dinner, he or she can go for a walk every evening after eating. 

From managing basic tasks to making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults may need help with an array of tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Danville respite care experts at Assisting Hands Home Care are here to help. All of our home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Assisting Hands Home Care can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.