There are lots of reasons your older family member should quit smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for many serious illnesses, including heart disease and some kinds of cancer. The problem with quitting is that it’s hard! Especially for older adults who have likely been smoking for years. Smoking is an addiction on two fronts. There is both a physical addiction to the nicotine and a psychological addiction to the habit itself. Quitting smoking often requires some help from a doctor. On top of that, it can be helpful for older adults to be armed with some strategies, like those below.
#1: Tell People About Quitting
The more people the older adult tells that they are quitting, the more people they can have supporting them in their efforts. Plus, telling people they are quitting can force them to stick to it since they won’t want to disappoint the people who are expecting them to quit. In addition to telling friends and family, your aging relative may find it helpful to join a support group to connect with others who are also trying to quit.
#2: Find Other Ways to Relax
Many people smoke because it relaxes them. Finding alternate ways to relax can keep them from missing smoking. Some other ways to relax are by having a massage, going fishing, or just listening to some soothing music.
#3: Avoid Smoking Triggers
For some people, smoking goes hand in hand with something else they do. For example, some people smoke when they drink alcohol or have a cup of coffee. If that’s the case, they might want to give up that evening cocktail or switch from coffee to tea until they have kicked their smoking habit. Or, if they normally have a cigarette after eating dinner, replace it with another activity, like going for a walk or spending some time on social media.
#4: Have Other Ways to Satisfy Oral Cravings
When the urge to smoke arises, it can sometimes help for the older adult to put something else in their mouth. Have handy snack items on hand. Some suggestions are mints, gum, carrot sticks, or nuts.
#5: Rely on Elderly Care
An elderly care provider can be a part of the older adult’s support team. An elderly care provider can offer a distraction when the senior feels like smoking. For example, when the senior expresses the desire to smoke, the elderly care provider can engage them in an activity like playing a hand of cards or going for a short walk. In addition, just having an elderly care provider present may stop the older adult from lighting a cigarette where they might do it if they are alone.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Denver. Call today: (303) 756-9322.