AMaThe medical community does less for prevention, intervention, and aggressive treatment for the elderly than for other age groups. More specifically, when it comes to seniors, smoking is a sadly overlooked area of senior health. We know that smoking is directly correlated to other diseases such as stroke, heart disease and lung cancer as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. However, few know that smoking has been linked to dementia and its progression since smoking effects the vascular system. If we are serious about caring for our elderly, there must be a greater effort expended toward the elderly in Bay Ridge quitting smoking.
Smoking & Fatality
According to the Center for Social Gerontology, 94% of the 430,000 annual smoking-related deaths in the US are people ages 50 and over. Beyond that, 70% are 65 and up. This fatality rate is inversely related to the smoking public. Those between the ages of 25–44 and 45–64 years have the highest smoking rates making up 33.7% of smokers. The 65 and older population account for 8.2%. Though younger cohorts smoke more, it seems to be more deadly as we age. Smoking exacerbates problems already present with the normal aging process.
Smoking & Ageism
Although smoking can be addressed, health care practitioners often fail to do so at senior checkups. Furthermore, doctors and patients tend to think the old habit cannot be broken. Too often, they mistakenly believe that years of damage are irreversible. This is a form of ageism! Smoking is a bad habit, but ignoring it is not the answer to a healthier life.
Benefits When You Stop Smoking
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute tells us that circulation and lung capacity improved by one-third within three months of quitting. Incredibly, the risk of heart attack lowers within the first 24 hours. Other problems caused by smoking, such as fatigue, coughing, congestion and more, also begin to subside in the first nine months.
Generally, smokers live 10 years fewer than nonsmokers. The Centers for Disease Control Healthy Aging Program states that someone who quits smoking after the age of 65 actually raises his life expectancy by 2-3 years. After 10 years, quitters can expect their risk of lung cancer to be cut in half. Furthermore, those who quit smoking after the age of 60 enjoy better lung function than their smoking counterparts.
Far from smoking be an unbreakable habit of the older generation, statistics show otherwise. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that smokers aged 45 and up are more likely to quit smoking than younger smokers. The Centers of Disease Control have found that doctors are reporting that sometimes a mere suggestion is enough to get older adults to quit.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that clinicians ask all adults about their tobacco use. Medicare Part B covers up to eight visits of tobacco cessation counseling with a qualified doctor in a 12-month period. We hope this information will help you and your loved ones pursue better health. Telephone quit lines are often a helpful resource for those seeking help. Medication is also available to help people achieve their goal.
David York Agency Home Healthcare Can Help!
Ageism in medicine is an unfortunate reality, but the right information can provide a path toward improvement. Seniors deserve to live life to its fullest, and prevention and intervention could help. The cessation of smoking could turn your life around!
If the above information about ageism has been useful, check out David York’s blog for more articles about senior care in Bay Ridge.
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