Quitting smoking is one of the best things aging adults can do for their health, and they’re likely to notice immediate benefits. However, getting an older adult to stop smoking can be a frustrating process, which is why you need to come up with a long-term plan for your senior loved one. Here’s a quick glimpse at five steps you can take to help your parent quit cigarettes for good.
1. Present the Facts
Some seniors have never even considered quitting because they aren’t fully aware of the health effects of smoking. Before you broach the subject with your parent, spend some time looking at research on the effects of smoking. Presenting some basic facts and figures could get your loved one thinking about his or her own health and future. If you don’t know where to get that type of data, you might want to speak with your loved one’s primary doctor.
2. Be Honest about Your Feelings
Once you’ve presented the facts about smoking, you can then speak with your parent about how his or her habit is affecting you and other members of the family. You might want to tell your loved one you’re worried about his or her health. You can also explain you want your parent to be around for important life events, such as seeing his or her grandchildren grow up and graduate.
3. Help with Stress Management
When it comes time for your loved one to quit smoking, you must find a way to help him or her manage stress. For many older adults, smoking cigarettes is a coping mechanism, and those individuals need to find new ways to handle stress and anxiety.
Some of the best stress management techniques include socializing, meditating, performing guided breathing exercises, and journaling. As long as your parent is healthy, he or she should try to exercise at least a few days a week as well.
A home caregiver can be a fantastic source of encouragement and support for a senior who’s facing stress related to kicking the habit. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-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 stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Come Up with Replacement Activities
In addition to helping your parent manage stress, you might also want to figure out some replacement activities to take up his or her time. When seniors remain relatively sedentary, it’s easy for them to slide back into unhealthy habits. If your parent has hobbies and activities that can keep him or her entertained, the likelihood of going back to smoking is much lower.
If your parent needs transportation to activities or a companion to enjoy hobbies and games with at home, a home caregiver can be a wonderful asset. For families living in Clearwater, 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.
5. Suggest a Support Group
All these other tactics can be very effective, but there may come a time when your parent needs to meet with others who are in similar situations. While a generic support group might be useful, you should see if there are any local support groups specifically for senior smokers. That extra assistance is going to be invaluable in the coming years, and many of those groups are completely free to join.
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. Clearwater Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Call us at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.