Even if your loved one has smoked for decades, quitting now can help him be healthier. He might wonder why he should go through all of the stress that quitting causes, but with some gentle reassurance from you and those he loves, he could take his first step toward quitting.
Quitting smoking can have many benefits, even for those who have smoked their entire lives. It doesn’t matter how old your loved one is or how long they’ve been smoking, quitting smoking at any time improves health. Here’s a quick snapshot of just a few areas in his life that will reap the rewards of his quitting.
- Health – Stopping smoking lowers the risk of cancer, lung disease, stroke, and heart attack. It also improves blood circulation, which provides energy and support to his other organs.
- Quality of Life – When a person stops smoking, their sense of taste and smell improves. That means food tastes better and the roses smell sweeter. He’ll appreciate those coffee outings with his senior home care provider more.
- Home and Personal Hygiene – Smoking stains teeth, clothes, and walls. It also creates a lingering smell that can be smelled long after the cigarette or cigar is snuffed out. After your loved one quits, have a senior home care provider come to the home to do some deep cleaning of carpets and walls to get all of those lingering odors out of the home.
- Role Model – Quitting now shows the family how important it is to make life changes at any point in someone’s life. It’ll also hopefully encourage them to never start up a habit that is addicting.
Knowing the reasons to quit smoking is the easy part. Quitting is the hard part. Here are some tips you can use with your loved one to help make his quitting journey successful.
- Set a date and mark it on the calendar. This shows commitment and makes it more real for your loved one.
- Get professional help. Whether it’s chatting with his doctor, going to a support group, or reading up about strategies online, your loved one will need some professional help as well.
- Talk about triggers before they happen. Talk to your loved one about when, where and why he smokes currently. If he loves to have a cigarette after a meal, what can you do to substitute that habit? Perhaps a hard candy or even a seltzer water to sip on after dinner can help. If there are social situations where smoking is a part of the activity, help him determine if he refrains from attending those for a while or how he’ll address the desire to smoke there.
- Substitute smoking with activity. If he loves going out on the back porch to smoke, encourage him to still go out, but maybe tinker around the garden instead. An after-lunch smoke could change to an after-lunch stroll with his senior home care provider instead.
- Set up a reward. Rewards are great. Determine what makes your loved one happy, and set up rewards for major milestones on his quitting journey.
Finally, remember that if he slips up, he can always try again. It is not uncommon for an individual to need several attempts before he has success.