Helping Elderly Relatives Quit Smoking

Bethany, an 80-year-old woman in moderate health, had smoked at least two packs of cigarettes every day for the past 43 years and didn’t seem like she would ever quit.

Her adult children and grandchildren pledged to help her if she would give it a try, but Bethany refused. Despite the doctor’s encouragement to quit, her mother simply stated that she was too old to stop now. Privately, Bethany wondered if she could even be successful at quitting after decades of habit.


Elder Care in Etobicoke : Helping Elderly Quit Smoking

Elder Care in Etobicoke: Helping Elderly Quit Smoking


It doesn’t matter how old someone is or how long they’ve smoked, quitting the habit can improve their health. Not only will quitting smoking help elderly adults feel better, they will be healthier as a result. Elderly adults are already at risk of developing illnesses that can significantly affect their health and wellness. Smoking only adds to that risk.


Effects of Smoking on Seniors

Research shows that while the overall number of smokers in the United States is declining, 10 percent of elderly adults still smoke. Smoking has been linked to higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, lung disease, and cancer. In seniors, smoking can boost the chance of osteoporosis, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. People who smoke also experience a reduced sense of taste and smell, poor blood circulation, throat and lung irritation and more respiratory problems. No matter how old someone is, quitting smoking can improve their health and provide them with a better quality of life.


How Seniors Can Quit

Decades of dependence on nicotine makes it difficult for elderly people to quit smoking, but it is possible, and many people have found success. The substance that makes tobacco cigarettes, so addictive is nicotine. When people that are addicted to it suddenly don’t get that nicotine fix, their body goes into withdrawal. It may trigger headaches, insomnia, depression, irritability, and cravings.


The best methods for elderly smokers to quit is to first have the desire.

No matter how badly family caregivers want their aging relative to give up cigarettes, the individual must want it badly to make it happen. Family caregivers and seniors then need to plan to quit smoking, together.


There are many tools available to help elderly adults kick the habit of smoking.

Examples include identifying their triggers, getting counseling, and working with a doctor to get medication for withdrawals. They can also read self-help books, carry snacks, and get lots of support from friends and family members. Cutting off access to cigarettes is often a little easier for elderly adults that cannot drive because they ask their family caregivers to stop buying them. Many aging adults find that they can successfully quit smoking, even after a lifetime of doing it.


Many people don’t succeed the first time they try to quit smoking. Elderly smokers should not stop trying because they can experience great improvements in their health and wellness when they do.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Etobicoke, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.


About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
The most important of all is “CARE”. We care about the people we serve. Our focus is to treat everyone with respect and dignity they deserve. Our vision is to provide excellence in health care for all those we serve.

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