Chances are, aging adults who smoke have tried to quit several times of the past decades. Most people nowadays know that smoking causes all kinds of health issues like emphysema and lung disease. However, the habits established over decades can be extremely hard to quit. Elderly adults who smoke will certainly need a lot of support to reach their goal of quitting smoking from family caregivers, friends, doctors and elder care providers.
Studies show that within days of quitting, ex-smokers experience lower blood pressure and an increase in taste and smell. For those who quit smoking, they reduce their risk of heart attacks, cancer, strokes and lung diseases dramatically. Other chronic conditions improve that are typically worsened by smoking, such as diabetes, respiratory illnesses and eye diseases.
Elder care providers can help seniors with their anti-smoking plans in several ways. As long as the aging adult is truly ready to quit, there are many things that elder care provider can do to support and encourage. Because elder care providers are with the senior so often during the day, they have to be ready to intervene when the aging adult needs them to. Because tobacco is addictive to the body and the habits of smoking are addictive to the mind, it will take a lot of work to quit smoking.
Here are just a few things that elder care providers can do to assist when an aging adult and their family caregivers really want to quit:
- Take the time to understand what the doctor says about the person’s health as they embark on this journey toward a noble goal.
- Make sure seniors take any prescription medicine related to quitting smoking as instructed, on time and with the right doses.
- Help seniors get to support groups and therapy on time.
- Be patient as they go through withdrawal, experiencing headaches, nausea, insomnia, irritability and lethargy.
- Keep triggers out of the senior’s way and help them avoid situations, people and events that make them want to smoke.
- Prepare for bad days and mistakes, because everyone who tries to quit smoking is going to have them. Elder care providers can talk with aging adults, encourage them to do better tomorrow and be their biggest cheerleaders.
When it comes to quitting smoking, there’s no more difficult task for people to do. However, seniors can be quite successful with a strong support group of family caregivers and elder care providers. Family care providers and elder care providers are just one more advantage available to seniors who deeply want to quit smoking.