How to Quit a Decades-Long Smoking Habit

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Seniors know giving up the smoking habit is one of the best things they can do for their health. However, quitting after decades of smoking does involve overcoming a few challenges. For this reason, seniors need to incorporate strategies that address the common challenges older adults face when giving up the habit. 

Talk to a Doctor

Denial is a powerful thing when battling addiction, and some seniors feel making it to their golden years without developing serious health conditions means they’re doing fine. However, a physician can assess your aging loved one’s health and provide insight into what could happen down the road if he or she doesn’t stop smoking. Depending on your loved one’s health, prescription medications may also aid in smoking cessation. 

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 in-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan 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 boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

Identify Triggers 

When faced with stressful situations, many seniors resort to smoking. The chemicals in tobacco products can calm the mind and relax the body. However, these chemicals can also cause breathing issues and increase the risk of stroke. 

It’s important for your loved one to avoid stressors and develop positive strategies to manage difficult issues. For example, instead of smoking when receiving bad news, your loved one should look for the positive side of the situation. Your parent will need to avoid certain places that trigger negative emotions and stop socializing with people who cause stress. 

Start a New Routine

Many people incorporate smoking into their daily rituals by having a cigarette after dinner or before bed. For this reason, many people claim battling the habit is a huge challenge while quitting. 

Your loved one should plan for cravings around the time he or she normally smoked and set up alternative activities to keep busy. Talking to a family member or friend on the phone or going for an after-dinner walk are healthier activities that can stop the urge to smoke. 

Some seniors need help giving up smoking and making other positive lifestyle changes. 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. Philadelphia Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Chart the Savings

Everyone loves to save money, and it’s fun to watch savings add up. Today, tobacco products have become extremely expensive, which means it won’t take long for your loved one to notice the savings in his or her pocketbook. 

Start a running chart of how much your loved one has saved since he or she quit smoking or create a savings jar to stash the cash he or she would have spent each week. Then your loved one can use the savings to indulge in something he or she has been wanting, such as a trip to the salon or even a vacation. 

Make Quitting a Social Experience

No one should try to quit smoking alone, and having solid support networks gives seniors somewhere to turn when they hit roadblocks. Your loved one should join a support group and let friends and family members know he or she is quitting. This way, your loved one has multiple places to go when he or she needs a few words of encouragement or wants to celebrate his or her success. 

Regular socialization can also keep older adults engaged and reduce their urge to smoke. For families living in Philadelphia, 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services. 


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