Once senior status has set in, many people think, “Why bother to quit smoking now,” or “If smoking doesn’t kill you something is bound to, right?” Unfortunately, the commonly held belief is that if they have been smoking for a long time, then it is too late now. WRONG! Even the most chronically ill patients receiving home care in Massachusetts to California can reap the benefits of kicking the nasty habit.
We all know smoking is linked to cancer, emphysema, and birth defects. A lesser known fact is that it is also associated with hip fractures, loss of bone density, cataracts, and COPD:
- Hip fractures are not only a highly common injury in people over the age of 65, but the mortality rate of those that have a hip fracture compared to those that don’t is around 15% higher.
- Nuclear cataracts, the type that smoking has been linked to, is the leading cause of visual loss in the U.S. Smokers are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop cataracts.
- COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is one of the most common chronic health conditions and limits a person’s ability to perform daily activities, even as simple as climbing a flight of stairs.
The body does amazing things, and young and older adults alike can begin to heal minutes after their very last cigarette. That’s right…minutes! Even the elderly can gain a longer life if they quit. There are many benefits of turning into a non-smoker aside from limiting the risk of developing a smoking-related disease. Breathing becomes easier, circulation is improved, and a boost in energy is felt. The morning coughing that is typical among smokers lessens as the cilia in the lungs regain their normal function and no longer have to contend with a buildup of phlegm. Heart rate and blood pressure become lower and carbon monoxide levels begin to decline almost immediately.
The senses of taste and smell are also amplified, giving many individuals a renewed appreciation of different food and scents. Physical appearance improves too with whiter teeth and fingernails. Say good-bye to the linger smell of smoke in your hair and clothes and on your breath.
Of course the earlier you quit the better, so don’t put it off any longer. Make a resolution today to break the cycle and improve your quality of life. Your loved ones will thank you for the continued time they get to spend with you, as well as the decrease in second hand smoke.
Individuals who have succumbed to a smoking-related disease, such as COPD may need assistance in their day to day life. MAS Home Care of Massachusetts is happy to provide compassionate support to clients across the state. Additional locations are found in Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.