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6 Incentives for Elderly Smokers to Quit

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It’s never too late to quit smoking. Even seniors can obtain health benefits from smoking cessation. Here are six reasons your senior loved one needs to quit smoking to enjoy better health.

1. Reduce the Risk for Heart Attack

Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Soon after your loved one quits smoking, his or her risk for having a heart attack decreases. Smoking can cause cardiac arrhythmia, which refers to an abnormal or erratic heartbeat.

2. Alleviate COPD Symptoms

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can cause severe shortness of breath, chest pain, frequent infections, and the accumulation of thick secretions in the lungs that are difficult to expectorate. COPD commonly affects seniors who have smoked heavily for years. Quitting smoking can help seniors establish a better pattern of breathing and prevent future lung damage. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elderly home care. Fort Worth families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

3. Lower Cancer Risk

Cigarette smoking doesn’t just raise the risk for lung cancer. It may also increase the risk for cancers of the bladder, tongue, pancreas, and pharynx. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce your loved one’s risk for these malignancies, even if he or she has smoked for a long time. If cigarette smoking is stopped early enough, the risk for smoking-related cancers may eventually diminish to that of a nonsmoker.

4. Prevent Capillary Damage

Smoking can cause capillary damage, leading to poor circulation. When circulation is poor, your loved one may be at risk for diabetes-related stasis ulcers, slow wound healing, edema, high blood pressure, and infections. Once your loved one has quit smoking, blood flow should increase, which may boost energy levels and immunity.

5. Lower Cholesterol

Cigarette smoking raises total cholesterol levels, and it can also increase low-density lipoproteins, or LDL cholesterol. Also known as “bad cholesterol,” LDLs are thought to raise the risk for heart attack and stroke. Seniors with high cholesterol or elevated LDL cholesterol should quit smoking now so they can enjoy healthier lipid levels and a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Fort Worth, TX, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

6. Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

Aging adults who have high blood pressure should quit smoking to keep hypertension at bay. Smoking also causes diminished circulation and may contribute to arteriosclerosis, another risk factor in high blood pressure. If blood pressure gets too high, your loved one may be at higher risk for an aneurysm, angina, heart attack, and stroke. 

If your loved one is unable to quit smoking independently, make an appointment with a physician to learn about effective smoking cessation treatments, which may include nicotine replacement patches or chewing gum, antidepressants, psychological counseling, and hospital-based support groups. The physician will also remind your loved one of the many health benefits associated with smoking cessation. In addition to boosting physical health, quitting smoking may enhance mental health as well.

Professional caregivers with training in promoting healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and support for seniors who are trying to quit smoking. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Fort Worth families 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. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (817) 369-8525.