Community Blog

Top Three Reasons for Senior Smokers to “Butt-Out”

By Debbie Humphrey

Home Helpers ClearwaterAlthough, I’ve never been a smoker, I have friends and family members who do. Smoking is an addiction much like that of illegal drugs and alcohol, and it usually results in horrible diseases that can be debilitating, if not fatal, unless prevention intervenes. Senior smokers, beware of what you are facing if you don’t kick-the habit, and consider “butting-out” for the Great American Smoke-Out, November 17th.

Lung Cancer is mostly a disease of the elderly. In 2013, 80% of lung cancer diagnoses were of people aged 60 or older. Depending upon age, activity levels and other contributing factors, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may or may not be options.

Emphysema/COPD is a condition that results when the lungs’ air sacs are rendered ineffective. They become clogged and unable to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide, which is crucial for human life. Every organ in our body requires oxygen to be transported through our bloodstream, the most important recipient, obviously, being the brain.

Second-Hand Smoke has been proven to negatively affect the health of children and adults, alike, who live with or spend significant time around smokers. When a lack of oxygen affects other people and their bodily organs, that body is in serious trouble! Everyone deserves to breathe clean air!

Sufferers of these conditions and diseases are often too short-of-breath to perform regular activities of daily living. For example, if laundry requires ascending or descending stairs, this can be a daunting chore for seniors who smoke. If dust or pet dander accumulates on furniture, tar and nicotine stains walls and curtains in the home of a smoker, this negatively affects air quality and healthy living for them AND their pets. If oxygen tanks are necessary, this can present a whole new danger for smokers who refuse to extinguish their cigarettes or cigars, even with a flammable gas in the house.

Some people can stop cold-turkey, however, many stop-smoking aids are available over-the-counter or by prescription to help in the process. Since everyone is different, what works for one person, may not work for another. Additionally, it is best to consult your primary care provider to discuss the best options for you.

My team at Home Helpers encourages seniors to “butt-out” during the Great American Smoke-Out, November 17th. We are available to assist with companion care, light housework, transportation assistance, shopping, or anything you need to make your life easier during this, what can be a very difficult time. Call today if you, or a senior someone you love, could use compassion, support and encouragement to live a smoke-free life. 727.942.2539.  Proudly providing in-home companion care in the greater Clearwater, Florida area.