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You’re Never Too Old To Quit Smoking | Generations Home Care
quit smoking

We’ve come a long way from the cigarette-puffing Mad Men era, when the health detriments of smoking were not yet widely understood. Consistent awareness efforts over the decades have ensured that virtually anyone who buys a pack of cigarettes knows the risks. However, despite knowing the serious health effects of smoking, nearly one in ten seniors still smoke. It’s probably not surprising then that almost 70 percent of these people say they want to quit smoking.

Amid the optimism of another new year, many seniors may be thinking about making the desire to quit a reality. With COVID-19 still a serious concern for older adults, there’s no time like the present to try to stop smoking. But as most people know, quitting can be much harder than simply tossing out your last cigarettes and never looking back. Here are some tips seniors can use to make 2022 the year they stop smoking. 

Smoking Destroys Your Health 

Though many people know smoking is very bad for you, the actual impact it has on your health is difficult to overstate. While the global pandemic has resulted in a worldwide effort to mask and vaccinate to stop the spread, smoking actually killed more people than COVID-19 in 2020. Rather than an unavoidable disease, smoking remains a conscious choice–one that seniors can always decide to turn away from. 

Smoking causes disease in every organ of the body. It remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and causes one in five deaths. Smokers die ten years earlier than nonsmokers on average, and often live with serious smoking-related illnesses for years beforehand. As COVID-19 poses a severe threat for people with existing respiratory issues, smokers have even more motivation than ever to drop the habit. 

Some seniors might think it’s not worth the hassle to quit smoking when they’re already in their later years. However, giving up smoking will improve your health no matter your age or how long you’ve been smoking. Quitting smoking can quickly improve smell and taste, increase blood circulation, and reduce your chances of a serious cardiac event like a heart attack or stroke. It’s never too late to reap the benefits of a smoke-free life!

Tips to Stop Smoking

Because nicotine is an addictive chemical, quitting smoking often results in uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Though some people don’t experience withdrawal when quitting, many others contend with cravings, tiredness, irritation, and headaches. Some people can even experience depression or difficulty sleeping while going through nicotine withdrawal. These effects can make it more difficult to quit smoking even when you’ve resolved to do so. However, taking a few simple steps can vastly improve your chances of putting your last cigarette behind you. 

Make a Plan

The first step to quitting smoking is to form a strategy. You might want to start by talking to your doctor about your plans to stop and asking for any advice they may have based on your specific circumstances. Coming up with a definite time frame is an excellent way to ensure that your goals are specific and measurable. Consider how any potential withdrawal symptoms might affect you, and create a plan to address them. 

Get Accountable

Sometimes telling your friends and family that you’re planning on making a big life change can help you follow it through. The knowledge that people are rooting for you and may be disappointed if you fail is great motivation to make them proud! Even checking in with your doctor about your plans can provide useful accountability to keep you on track. You could even join a local group dedicated to helping smokers quit and benefit from the solidarity of others who know what you’re going through. 

Be Ready for the Symptoms

Nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges are all sold over the counter and can be a valuable way to train your body off its usual chemical fix. Getting your body unhooked from nicotine is only part of the quitting process, however; breaking the habit of smoking is another. The ritual of cigarettes is a large part of why many people struggle to quit. Paired with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, this can make the effort to stop smoking quite the challenge. 

Support Can Make all the Difference

Deciding to quit smoking is a hugely important step towards a healthier, happier life. Without the serious medical issues that smoking may cause, seniors can look forward to a better quality of life and stronger health outlooks in the future. But going through such a big shift can be difficult alone. That’s why enlisting your in-home caregiver to help with your quitting efforts can be so effective. Smokers who quit with social support are more likely to succeed than those who try to stop alone. So why not have an in-home caregiver at your side while you take the next step towards meaningful long-term health? 

An in-home caregiver can help you set your goals during the process of quitting and keep you accountable while you work towards going smoke-free. If you need help getting more comfortable during any rough points of withdrawal, a caregiver will be ready to step in and take care of meal planning, shopping, cleaning, and more. Perhaps most importantly, sometimes having a person to open up to and get support and reassurance during periods of doubt can be more helpful than anything else. You have the strength and commitment to snuff out smoking for good–an in-home caregiver can be a valuable ally as you realize that potential. 

About Generations Home Care

Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.

Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.

Our Specialty Services Include:

  • Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
  • Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
  • Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
  • Veteran’s connection to care program.
  • Live-in services and couples care.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.


About the author - Josh Friesen

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