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6 Compelling Reasons for Older Smokers to Quit Immediately

By , 9:00 am on

Smoking can raise the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. It’s never too late to quit smoking, even if your senior loved one has been smoking heavily for many years. Here are six reasons aging adults should stop smoking now so they can better enjoy their golden years.

1. Lower the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Cigarette smoking is among the top risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Soon after quitting smoking, your loved one’s risk for a cardiovascular event or cerebral vascular accident should diminish. Eventually, although it may take a few years, your loved one’s risk for heart attack and stroke should decrease to that of a nonsmoker. Quitting smoking now also lowers blood pressure, another significant risk factor for heart attack 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. Barrie 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.

2. Make Breathing Easier

While quitting smoking now is important for everyone, it’s especially crucial for seniors with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The toxins in cigarette smoke can cause alveolar damage, leading to shortness of breath, airway obstruction, wheezing, and coughing. While quitting smoking may not reverse existing lung damage caused by COPD or other breathing disorders, it can stave off future lung and breathing problems.

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. Barrie families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

3. Enhance Skin Condition

Seniors are prone to poor skin condition as a result of diminished collagen function, which may be exacerbated by cigarette smoking. When collagen function is impaired, your loved one may be more susceptible to skin thinning, frequent bruising, skin tears, pigment changes, and itching. Quitting smoking now may enhance cellular turnover of the epidermis, resulting in healthier skin.

4. Make Food Taste Better

Cigarette smoking can damage the papillae of the tongue, resulting in loss of taste or abnormal taste sensations. If your loved one claims food tastes bland or experiences a metallic, bitter, salty, or sour taste in the mouth, damaged papillae or taste bud abnormalities may be to blame. Once your loved one quits smoking, his or her taste buds may work better, resulting in normal taste perception. In addition to taste abnormalities, smoking can cause loss of smell, which can be especially dangerous for seniors who live alone because if they cannot smell, they may be unable to detect a natural gas leak or fire.

5. Increase Circulation

Capillaries can become damaged as a result of cigarette smoking, which could make your loved one more susceptible to decubitus or stasis ulcers as a result of immobility or diabetes. In addition to capillary damage, smoking may impair venous and arterial circulation, raising the risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. If your loved one quits smoking now, optimal blood flow may eventually be reestablished. However, existing vessel damage related to years of smoking may be permanent.

6. Decrease the Risk of Infection

Smoking can also heighten the risk for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections of the respiratory tract, skin, urinary tract, and gastrointestinal system. Cigarette smoking is thought to play a role in immune suppression. However, once your loved one quits smoking, optimal immune function may return. Smoking may also raise the risk for antibiotic-resistant infections, so if your loved one does get an infection, common antibiotics will be of little use in eliminating the microorganism. Instead, stronger antibiotics that may be toxic to the kidneys may be needed to resolve the infection. 

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. Barrie 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. Call us today at 705-503-2273 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.