Smoking is definitely hard to quit at any age, but it can be especially challenging for seniors who may have been smoking for decades. As a senior, you can enjoy many immediate and sometimes dramatic health benefits when you decide to give up smoking for good. Quitting smoking, even after the age of 65, can reduce your risk for stroke, heart disease, and cancer, improve the way your food tastes, and save about $150 a month. Home Care Assistance of Denver offers the following tips to help get you there.
1. Turn to Medicare
Medicare can give you personalized support to give up smoking. Medicare expanded its smoking cessation coverage, giving anyone on Medicare who uses tobacco eight face-to-face counseling sessions during the year. Counseling can help you discuss your triggers, form new habits, and give you the personalized motivation you need.
2. Form new, healthy habits
It’s hard to break a habit you’ve developed over decades, and the best way to break a habit is by starting a new one. If you typically smoke after you eat, give yourself something else to look forward to like a small treat. You can also try new activities that won’t remind you of smoking, such as a walk around the block after a meal.
3. Set a “quit date”
It’s important to give yourself time to prepare. You’re more likely to succeed in quitting smoking if you put in thought and planning. Choose a “quit date” within the next two weeks and use that time to build yourself up. The day before, get rid of all cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays and try to remove the smell of smoke from your home.
4. Give yourself a reason
When you feel the urge to give in, remind yourself of why you want to quit. For many seniors, the primary reason for quitting is due to health reasons. You may also want to quit to take control of your life or help someone you love. Decide on your own reasons and remind yourself daily.
5. Remind yourself of your accomplishments
Older adults have a lifetime of achievements and experience overcoming problems and meeting challenges. Remind yourself of other challenges you have overcome in your life to find the strength to quit.
6. Carry snacks
Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy, or eating snacks like almonds can help you stay away from cigarettes by giving you an oral substitute for a cigarette. Carry snacks with you just in case you get a craving.
Learn more about senior health and wellness from the friendly and experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of live-in, hourly, and comprehensive Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Denver, promoting optimal wellbeing for seniors is our top priority. For more information, call (720) 443-3371 and speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager today.