Smoking is difficult to quit at any age, but it can be especially challenging for seniors who may have been smoking for decades. Seniors can enjoy many immediate and sometimes dramatic health benefits when they decide to give up smoking for good. Quitting smoking, even after the age of 65, can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer, enhance the way food tastes, and save money. The following tips can help your aging loved one quit the habit.
1. Turn to Medicare
Medicare can provide personalized support for seniors who want to give up smoking. The federal health insurance program has expanded its smoking cessation coverage, authorizing eight face-to-face counseling sessions a year for Medicare recipients who use tobacco. Counseling can help seniors discuss their triggers, form healthy habits, and get the personalized motivation they need.
A home caregiver can be a fantastic source of information and support for a senior who’s kicking the smoking habit. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder 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.
2. Adopt New Healthy Habits
It’s difficult to break a habit that’s developed over decades, and the best way to break a habit is by starting a new one. If your loved one typically smokes after eating, give him or her something else to look forward to, such as a small treat. Your loved one can also try new activities that won’t remind him or her of smoking, such as taking a walk around the block after a meal.
If your parent needs a companion to enjoy healthy activities, hobbies, and games with at home, a home caregiver can be a wonderful asset. For families living in Rhode Island, 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.
3. Set a Quit Date
It’s important to allow time to prepare. Your loved one is more likely to successfully quit smoking if he or she puts thought and planning into it ahead of time. Choose a quit date within the next two weeks, and use that time to build your loved one up. The day before your loved one’s quit date, get rid of all cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays, and try to remove the smell of smoke from the home.
4. Choose a Reason
When your loved one feels the urge to give in and smoke again, remind him or her of why he or she wants to quit. For many seniors, the primary motivation for quitting is due to health reasons. Your loved one may also want to quit to take control of his or her life or help someone he or she loves. Seniors need to decide on their own reasons and remind themselves of those motivations daily.
5. Remember Accomplishments
Older adults have lifetimes of achievements and experience with overcoming problems and meeting challenges. Remind your loved one of other obstacles he or she has overcome in life to help him or her find the strength to quit.
6. Carry Snacks
Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy, and munching on healthy snacks such as almonds can help seniors stay away from smoking by providing oral substitutes for cigarettes. Encourage your loved one to carry snacks just in case he or she gets a craving.
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 senior home care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (401) 284-0979 today.