If your elderly family member is still smoking, it’s still not too late for her to give it up. No matter how long your senior has smoked, she can not only quit, but get big benefits from doing so. She may just need some extra help along the way.
Her Cancer Risk Goes Down
Most people know that there’s a high risk of lung cancer for people who smoke, and that risk can go down when someone quits smoking. But there are other types of cancers that smoking contributes to, primarily because it affects the entire body and almost every system. So when your elderly family member stops smoking, that can have a positive effect on her overall risk for developing other cancers, too.
Her Lungs Will Thank Her
This one is likely no surprise, but your elderly family member’s lungs will absolutely be thrilled if she gives up smoking. There’s a lot in that cigarette smoke, from the nicotine her body craves to other ingredients and chemicals that do pretty awful things. Carbon monoxide levels drop almost immediately, and that’s only one of the ways your senior’s lungs immediately start to heal.
Her Heart and Blood Vessels Recover, Too
Your senior’s lungs and respiratory system aren’t alone in the recovery, though. Her entire circulatory system, including her heart and her blood vessels, start to recover, too. This is due to some of the same reasons that her lungs start to repair themselves, plus your senior’s lungs just get better at getting oxygen into her body. Your senior’s risk for heart-related illnesses, like cardiac arrest and stroke, might decrease, too.
She Might Be Shocked to Feel Healthier
Even if your elderly family member doesn’t notice those other results quickly, something she might be surprised about is that she feels better. Smoking is one of those vices that quitting almost immediately offers some positive results. She might miss the nicotine, but other than that, she is likely to start feeling healthier very quickly. Other small effects, like getting her sense of taste back, might even help her to eat healthier, too.
It’s tough to quit smoking. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what might help. Your senior may benefit from having some extra help while she’s quitting, too. Elder care providers can assist with household tasks and remind her to eat and stay hydrated while she’s adjusting to giving up smoking.