Smoking is a habit many older adults have difficulty with, even though they may be aware of its harmful effects. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical, and many seniors are physically and psychologically dependent upon the habit. At some point, most seniors are told by their doctors that quitting smoking is necessary for their health. Your aging loved one may also want to enjoy the freedom that comes with a smoke-free lifestyle. Try using these ideas to help your parent make the goal of becoming a nonsmoker more achievable.
Make a List of the Positives
Your loved one needs to want to quit smoking to be successful. Have your loved one make a list of all of the nice things that come from kicking the habit. On top of better health, your loved one may enjoy smelling better and being able to skip ashtray-cleaning sessions.
A home caregiver can be a fantastic source of encouragement and support for a senior who’s trying to kick the smoking habit. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Explore Safe Smoking Cessation Aids
Some smokers need help ending their addiction. Seniors who feel the need to smoke first thing in the morning may have a physical dependency on the chemicals in tobacco, and certain smoking cessation aids may help. Always have your loved one talk to the doctor before using nicotine patches or gum because they can have harsher side effects for seniors. Support groups are a completely safe option that can also help seniors end the smoking habit.
Start a Smoke-Free Fund
Money matters are rarely far from a senior’s mind. Your loved one can use the motivation of watching his or her savings increase to avoid using tobacco products. Help your loved one figure out how much he or she spends on smoking and add it to a jar or savings account each month. Your parent can then use this extra money to buy something special to reward his or her new healthy lifestyle.
Join in the Quitting Journey
If you also smoke, it’s hard to expect your loved one to quit when you’re doing it right in front of him or her. During the early weeks of your loved one’s journey, he or she needs to avoid being around people who are smoking, since this can trigger cravings. Offer to join your loved one by quitting together. He or she will be touched by your gesture and eager to help you quit, too.
Find Alternative Activities to Enjoy
Smoking takes up large amounts of time. Your loved one may not know what to do with extra time, or he or she may smoke as part of daily rituals. Figure out when your loved one smokes the most and offer other things to do during those times. For instance, taking a walk after dinner can help your loved one avoid that post-meal smoke.
If your parent needs transportation to social activities or a companion to enjoy hobbies and games with at home, a home caregiver can be a wonderful asset. For families living in Flower Mound, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Most of the time, recovering from an addiction involves an occasional slip or relapse during the early days. If you find out your loved one secretly smoked, avoid making him or her feel guilty. Shame could cause your loved one to develop secretive behaviors that make it more difficult to quit. Instead, empathize by saying you understand that quitting smoking is challenging. Then help your loved one set up a plan to get back on track.
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 elderly home care. Flower Mound Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 468-6010.