The number of smokers declined from almost 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2005 to 14 percent in 2017. That’s a good thing as estimates are that about 1 out of every 5 deaths is related to smoking.
Your dad has been smoking for decades. His doctor is urging him to quit, but he’s not sure if it’s too late. It’s never too late. Here are some of the reasons why he should make an effort to quit.
Health Conditions Linked to Smoking
Smoking impacts your health in negative ways. Smoking is increases the risk of certain cancers (bladder, kidney, liver, lung, and pancreatic to name a few), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, lung disease, and stroke. It also impacts the immune system, sense of taste, and sense of smell. Rheumatoid arthritis is also linked to smoking.
According to the CDC, the risk of lung cancer increases by 25x. People who smoke are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD. The risk of heart disease or stroke is increased by up to 4x.
What Happens if You Stop Smoking?
Effective smoking cessation methods usually include a mix of counseling, over-the-counter nicotine replacement gums and patches, and support groups. Once you stop smoking, the benefits begin immediately.
Within the first half hour, your blood pressure decreases and so does your pulse. In the first day, carbon monoxide levels in the blood stream return to normal. In the first few months, circulation and breathing improve. By the end of the year, your risk of heart disease has greatly lowered.
After five years, the risk of a stroke is almost equal to that of a non-smoker. In 10 years, the risk of certain cancers also decreases. After 15 years, you have the same risk for lung cancer as a non-smoker.
Even if your dad is past the age of 60 when he quits, he still adds years to his life. The estimate is that life expectancy goes up by three years.
There’s another factor to consider. When your dad stops smoking, he also improves the health of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other non-smokers he spends time with. Second-hand smoke is detrimental to non-smokers’ health, too.
Partner with elderly care aides as your dad adjusts to the change. Caregivers can support him through the hard moments, remind him when it’s time for a support group or therapy session, or to take whatever he’s using to ease his addiction to nicotine.
To arrange elderly care services, call a home care agency. Answer the questions, talk about your budget, and find out what schedule would be most beneficial. Call now to learn more.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider home care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.