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5 Ways for Seniors to Fill Their Time Instead of Smoking

By Ilse du Bernard, 9:00 am on

Giving up a smoking habit is commendable because it can lead to greater longevity and happiness for seniors. However, there will definitely be times when the urge to light up strikes, and having a list of things to keep busy with is one of the best ways for the elderly to stop these cravings. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in The Woodlands, suggest 5 things your senior loved one can do instead of smoking.

1. Get the Hands Dirty

Smoking requires seniors to hold a tobacco product in their hands, and getting them dirty can make it more difficult to smoke. For example, applying nail polish gives seniors enough time for the craving to pass while they wait for the nails to dry. Alternatively, they can dig into the dirt in a garden, tinker on a greasy engine, or knead some bread dough.

2. Do Deep Breathing Exercises

Sometimes, ex-smokers feel the urge to smoke when they really just need to do some deep breathing. Spending a few minutes taking long inhales and slow exhales can help curb the smoking urge. Breathing exercises help calm the mind and allow the urge to inhale to be satisfied without the smoke hindering your loved one’s health.

3. Spend Time with a Grandchild

When your loved one spends time with a grandchild, it may serve as a reminder that others depend on him or her to stay healthy. If your loved one doesn’t want to smoke around the people he or she cares about, it gives him or her a reason not to light up. As your loved one plays with a favorite little one, he or she will likely think about the great example he or she is setting by choosing to end the smoking addiction.

4. Go for a Hike

Exercising and smoking do not go together. Therefore, getting outdoors and walking can help your loved one fill the time he or she used to spend sitting and smoking. Your loved one should choose a natural walking path that is full of beautiful things to see and invite a companion or caregiver in The Woodlands for company because conversation is also a great way to keep the mind occupied.

5. Take a Class

Whether your loved one visits the local senior center and learns to play chess or enrolls at the local community college, taking a class is a positive way to spend the time he or she once spent smoking. Your loved one may want to consider taking a class he or she might not normally take, or choose one that focuses on health, such as a senior water aerobics lesson. Either way, your loved one will have something to look forward to every week that helps him or her make progress in the journey to quit smoking.

To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of stroke, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s care in The Woodlands, and our dedicated caregivers can assist with mobility and exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and help with many other tasks that can boost your loved one’s health. For more information on our at-home care services, call 832-412-1345 today.