6 Ways to Help Older Adults Give Up Smoking

By , 9:00 am on

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 longstanding 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 on 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 Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Mississauga Home Care Assistance 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 their habit. When smokers set a specific date to quit smoking, they’re more likely to succeed in their goal. 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 he or she needs to stay off cigarettes for good. 

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, like bupropion and varenicline. 

Seniors who need help managing their medications should consider professional in-home care. Mississauga elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing 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 like 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, eventually the body will 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 Mississauga respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite 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. To create a customized in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at (519) 590-2792 today.