Owner's Blog

How Do You Help Your Mom Stop Smoking?

By Dawn Hill

Smoking is linked to several chronic health conditions. COPD, lung cancer, and emphysema are just a few. There's also a higher risk of heart disease, gum disease, and stroke when you're a smoker. If your mom smokes, encourage her to stop smoking. The Great American Smokeout on November 21st is a good time to quit.

Help Her Understand Her Options

There are different ways a smoker can quit. Research them and help her decide which one she wants to try first. She may need to try several or combine them before one helps her quit smoking.

Cold turkey involves stopping smoking completely and not relying on any nicotine replacement aids. Aids help ease the withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings by offering nicotine in lowered amounts over time. Aids include gum, patches, inhalers, and hard lozenges.

Prescription medications may be more effective for your mom. There are two medications with FDA approval for stopping smoking. Bupropion impacts the brain chemicals that trigger cravings. Varenicline affects the brain so that the same enjoyment that was gained by smoking is no longer noticeable. Each one is meant to be used for 12 weeks before returning to the doctor to see if it's worked.

Some people have better luck attending support groups and therapy sessions. They go to a professional who helps come up with methods to stop the cravings and support groups for people who want to be surrounded by others going through the same withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Hypnosis is another option some rely on. Other alternative therapies believed to help with nicotine cessation include acupuncture, magnet therapy, and meditation.

Be Patient and Kind

Some people can quit cold turkey and manage, but others need a lot of support to stop smoking. Be supportive. Statistically, experts have found it can take 30 or more attempts before there is success in stopping smoking. If she tries and fails, don't criticize. It's better than not trying at all.

If your mom's health is already affected by smoking, enlist help at her home. Stopping will be hard for her. She shouldn't have to struggle with stopping on her own. She won't always have the energy to take care of the home, remember to take any medications, and make it to appointments on time. Caregivers can help out.

Caregivers can assist her in making doctor's appointments, counseling sessions, and companionship at home. Call a home care agency to discuss these and other ways caregivers can help your mom along her quest to stop smoking.

Sources:
https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e011045
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319460.php#8

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN STATESVILLE, NC, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS HOME CARE. WE SERVE CLIENTS IN MOORESVILLE, STATESVILLE, DAVIDSON, CORNELIUS, HUNTERSVILLE, DENVER, CONCORD, KANNAPOLIS, AND THE CHARLOTTE METRO AREA. CALL TODAY: (704) 909-7958.