Smoking is a dangerous habit for people of any age. However, experts suggest that it is even more harmful to older adults. Getting older naturally puts people at risk for greater risk for several serious health conditions, including heart disease and respiratory problems. It can be hard to convince an older adult who has been smoking for years that they need to quit, but it really is never too late to improve their health by quitting. Sometimes understanding the dangers of smoking can be beneficial in seniors making the decision to quit. Below are 5 dangers older adults expose themselves to by smoking.
#1: Lung Conditions
Smoking is a major risk factor in lung conditions. In current smokers, about 73 percent of the conditions they have been diagnosed with are lung diseases. That’s because smoking harms structures in the lungs that are vital to bringing fresh oxygen into the body and removing old air. Smoking leads to diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which can severely impact the older adult’s ability to breathe freely. In fact, 80 percent of deaths related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are attributed to smoking.
Smoke from cigarettes is filled with more than 7,000 chemicals. 69 of those chemicals are proven carcinogens. Smoking causes 90 percent of deaths from lung cancer. In addition to lung cancer, smoking can cause many other cancers, such as cancers of the:
Smokers get type 2 diabetes more often than people who don’t smoke. If the older adult already has diabetes, smoking makes it harder to for them to keep the disease under control. Not only does managing diabetes take a lot of effort and time, but the disease can also lead to serious complications, including kidney failure and amputations.
#4: Eye Problems
People who smoke are more likely to get eye diseases that can cause them to lose some of their vision or even go blind. Smokers have an increased risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
#5: Exposing Family Members to Secondhand Smoke
If your older family member won’t quit for themselves, they may be inspired to quit for the sake of their family members, especially grandchildren. Being exposed to secondhand smoke can make conditions like asthma worse, particularly in children. It can also result in children developing respiratory illnesses more often. Adults who breathe in secondhand smoke are at increased risk for stroke, lung cancer, and coronary artery disease.
Home care providers can help older adults to quit smoking. There are many medical treatments available to people that want to quit smoking. A home care provider can drive your aging relative to the doctor to discuss smoking cessation options. A home care provider can also remind them to use the medication suggested by the doctor. In addition, a home care provider can be an important source of support and companionship when quitting gets hard.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.