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Smoking and the Impact on Seniors & Longevity

By Rick Cohen, 8:00 am on

Smoking is a powerful addiction that can be challenging to stop at any age. However, senior adults are often hit the hardest by the negative consequences of smoking that occur from a habit that has been indulged in for years. While many seniors may feel as though the damage has already been done, the truth is that stopping the habit now can result in a greater quality of life that can extend their longevity. Today, Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee is going to talk about the importance of living a smoke-free lifestyle and how to achieve this goal.


The Impact of Tobacco on Senior Health

Even if you or your aging loved one have smoked for many years without consequences, minor health problems can easily turn into serious conditions due to the impact of smoking. For example, senior adults who smoke are at a greater risk for brittle bones due to osteoporosis, and a simple fall could lead to a broken bone that requires hospitalization. Respiratory infections can also quickly spiral out of control due to lung damage caused by smoking. COPD, emphysema and persistent bronchitis are all more common among smokers and can require hospital care in Milwaukee.

Immediate Effects of Stopping Now

The majority of senior adults understand that quitting smoking will increase their longevity, but there are also several benefits that can occur in the first few minutes to days of quitting smoking that will impact you or your loved one’s quality of life for years to come. These include:

  • Enhanced ability to taste favorite foods
  • Increased circulation
  • More energy for exercise and leisure activities
  • Saved money
  • No longer smelling like smoke
  • Decreased risk of illness

Tips for Quitting Smoking

Quitting a lifelong habit may be difficult, yet there are several things seniors can do to increase their chances of success. First, seniors should consult with their physician who may have medications or alternative strategies that can help with smoking cessation. Then, you or your loved one can try the following strategies that have helped others to successfully quit.

  • Replace cigarettes with healthy alternatives such as gum or a walk after dinner
  • Join a support group
  • Save money normally used for cigarettes and purchase a reward
  • Avoid smokers
  • Keep hands busy with activities such as knitting, playing cards or video games

Kicking the habit can have a dramatic impact on a senior’s health and wellness, and it is important for families to encourage and help their loved one to quit smoking. For more information about senior health and wellness, contact the Milwaukee senior care experts at Home Care Assistance. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our friendly Care Managers can help answer any questions you may have. Call 414-964-8000 today.