Owners' Blog

Seniors and Smoking: It is Never Too Late to Quit

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Senior Care in Buford GA

For older adults who have been smoking for years, they probably feel as though there is no point in quitting since it has not seemed to hurt them yet. However, the longer you smoke, the more damage that will occur in the body, whether the elder can feel the harm it is doing or not. The National Institute of Health says that by quitting smoking, you will live longer, breathe easier, and Senior-Care-Buford-GAspend less money. Instead of waiting for a serious health problem to happen, quitting now will reduce the risks of developing these health issues. If your loved one is receiving senior care for a medical condition and is an avid smoker, it is not too late to quit smoking for their health.

Possible excuses to not quit
The longer people have smoked, the more difficult it is going to be to get them to kick the habit. Even if you constantly attempt to help them quit, there may still be some excuses they use to avoid having to stop the habit they have grown so accustomed to. Some may feel that there is no point in quitting this late in life, while others may have people around them that encourage your loved one to light up. Whatever their excuse may be, sit down with them and have an honest discussion over what your concerns are, as well as reasons to counteract their excuses. Do a little bit of research prior to your discussion to help back up your reasons for wanting them to quit.

Benefits to quitting
Quitting at any age can be beneficial to one’s health. The American Medical Association reported that even people who have been smoking for over 30 years can improve their health when they quit. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased energy
  • Skin looks younger
  • Fewer coughs
  • Less likely to get winded by walking up stairs
  • Smaller risk of a stroke, heart attack, or developing lung diseases

To help motivate your loved one to quit, consider offering a reward for so many days of not smoking. For example, if they do not smoke for 30 days, you will take them to a movie or other activity they enjoy. Seniors who are accepting in-home care may light up due to being lonely, stressed, or depressed. If these are the reasons behind your loved one’s need to smoke, try to take them on trips outside of the house or go for walks to help distract them from wanting to reach for a cigarette.

Health conditions caused by smoking
Health risks go beyond only harming the heart or lungs; every organ in the body is in danger when someone smokes. Some health conditions that may occur due to this habit include:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Smoking damages the blood vessels, making them more narrow and thicker. This causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to increase.
  • Respiratory disease:  Airways and small air sacs in the lungs, also known as alveoli, are damaged, causing the smoker to have a more difficult time breathing.
  • Cancer: Smoking can cause numerous types of cancer, including colon, bladder, cervix, kidney, liver, stomach, and pancreas cancer.

If you regularly visit a loved one who is receiving elder care and have been smoking for years, encourage them to quit in order to reap prevent many of these diseases from developing. It will not be easy, but soon they will be feeling younger, healthier, and more energized.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in Buford, GA, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511.

Healthline. “Seniors and Smoking: No Matter Your Age, It’s Worth the Effort to Quit.” 18 Jun 2013.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking.”