Even if your aging relative has been smoking for decades, quitting today can improve their health. It may not be easy to quit, but it is certainly worth it. The government website, smokefree.gov, suggests that knowing the reasons to stop smoking and identifying a specific reason for the older adult to quit can make quitting easier. Below are 5 reasons that may spur your older family member to quit smoking.
#1: Know the Benefits of Being a Non-Smoker
Regardless of age or how long a person has been smoking, quitting has a lot of benefits—both immediate and long term.
Some of the benefits of quitting are:
- Within 20 minutes of stopping, blood pressure levels go down and heart rate slows.
- In just 12 hours, the amount of carbon monoxide in the senior’s blood returns to normal.
- In 9 months or less, they’ll be able to breathe more easily and will cough less.
- One year after quitting, the older adult will have half the risk of heart disease.
- Between 2 and 5 years after quitting, your aging relative’s risk of stroke will be the same as a non-smoker’s.
#2: Quitting Smoking May Slow Mental Decline
In a study of over 9,000 people aged 65 and older, researchers found that smokers experience mental decline 5 times faster than those who don’t smoke. Experts believe that smoking affects brain health by damaging arteries and contributing to blood clots.
#3: Smoking is Expensive
The cost of cigarettes continues to rise. In some areas of the country, a pack of cigarettes costs $10. Even if they cost just $5 per pack where the senior lives, smoking a pack each day costs them $1,825 per year.
#4: Smoking Contributes to Vision Loss
People who smoke have a 4 times greater risk of vision loss because of age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that damages the retina, causing the older adult to lose their central vision. Vision lost to macular degeneration cannot be regained. By quitting smoking, the senior reduces their risk of developing macular degeneration.
#5: Smoking Harms Your Friends and Family
Breathing in secondhand smoke is dangerous to the senior’s friends and family, including grandchildren. Breathing in secondhand smoke can cause children to get colds and ear infections more easily. It also makes the older adult’s clothing and home smell like smoke, which isn’t a pleasant smell for non-smokers and may make them less likely to visit.
Home care can help older adults to quit smoking. A home care provider can drive them to their doctor to talk about smoking cessation strategies and medications. Home care providers can also offer the older adult distractions when they have the urge to smoke. Finally, a home care provider can be an additional support person when quitting is difficult.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN TYSONS, VA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS HOME CARE. OFFERING HOME CARE IN: ARLINGTON, FAIRFAX, AND LOUDOUN COUNTIES – ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, MCLEAN, FAIRFAX, VIENNA, OAKTON, RESTON, HERNDON, FALLS CHURCH, GREAT FALLS, STERLING, ASHBURN, AND LEESBURG. CALL TODAY: (703) 766-0154.