Smoking is a lifestyle habit that leads to life-threatening conditions. The American Cancer Society states that more than 42 million adults smoke, which points to a large number of people who continue to put their health and lives at risk.
Smoking: Popular for Older People
Everybody knows how unhealthy smoking is, but for many older people, it’s part of their lives. For some, it serves as a reminder of who they are, while for others, it’s a way to cope with the loss of control in other aspects of their lives.
Affecting an Older Person’s Health
Older people are prone to the negative health problems that result from inhaling the toxins present in cigarette smoke. Age reduces the body’s inability to deal and cope with diseases, making the effects more severe and in many cases, irreversible.
Smoking typically leads to some common health complications for older people:
- breathing problems
- low blood pressure
- mental decline and dementia
- lung cancer
- chronic lung problems
All of the above can be fatal. Smoking also worsens age-related illnesses and leads to a decline in physical strength and performance for people over 65.
Quitting is a Challenge
Older people who have smoked for decades find it especially difficult to let go of the habit. Also, going cold turkey can lead to an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, due to the absence of the nicotine. Many of the medication that helps in quitting smoking is not suitable for older people. Healthier alternatives exist, though, like chewing gum, or enjoying sugar-free candy.
How Caregivers Can Help
If you or someone you know is having a hard time quitting, despite making it his or her New Year’s Resolution every year, get help. Caregivers are in an excellent position to provide the necessary assistance. Professional in-home personal care can remind older people why they need to kick the habit to the curb.
Choose a Caregiver
Find a specialty home care agency with solid experience and a stellar reputation in the field. Check to make sure the agency hires qualified caregivers. Ask them about their hiring process and whether they perform background checks. What guarantees can you expect? When they send you the quote, which services will that cover?
Quitting smoking is hard. But professional help from a caregiver can help you stay true to your New Year’s Resolution. Contact Cypress HomeCare Solutions to learn more about in-home personal care.