My mother lives in independent care with some outside help. She isn't allowed to smoke there, but she does, mostly on the porch and sometimes in her bathroom. She does not really care that it is not allowed. If she needs assisted living, which I think is coming, she won't be allowed to smoke at all.
Has anyone ever helped their parent quit smoking?

If a life-long smoker lives to be elderly and didn't die of smoke-related illness then I say let them smoke as much as they want.
They beat the game if they're still smoking in old age.
If such time should come where you may have to move her to AL, find one that has a smoking area.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

AmyPoff: Cessation of a nicotine addiction may require the help of a physician or other medical professional who would offer, quite possibly, a nicotine patch or gum to stop smoking. As with any other addiction, the individual must want to cease, else they will go to great lengths to obtain cigarettes, endangering their health all the while, especially their lungs.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Of course you would love to see your mom stop smoking. It is the thing that would help her more than any other thing to not worsen any health issues she might have and to enjoy her final years in decent health.
My husbands sister smokes. She has been in the hospital a few times for serious surgeries. She always has to quit while there but goes right back to it. She will not pay for things she really needs if it means she can’t afford her cigarettes. She has had hypertension since she was in her 20s. Always thin, the doctor really leaned on her to quit. She has no intention of quitting. We don’t say anything anymore. She is the only person in her family who smokes except for her partner. Her husband smoked and died of cancer.
She was prescribed Prozac awhile back. I wondered why they didn’t give her Wellbutrin which is supposed to help a person quit and stay off. Another drug is Chantix. If your mom wants to quit then do try to find her any and all aids that might help. But if she doesn’t want to, you will be spinning your wheels. The threat of not being able to smoke somewhere else is more of the push she has already rebuffed in the past. That muscle is very well developed.

My DH is diabetic. All his siblings are as were his parents. He spends a small fortune on drugs to treat the diabetes. He also sees a nutritionist and a therapist in an effort to help figure out why he sabotages himself. He wears a glucose monitor. He has gone on hospital directed diets and lost lots of weight and paid lots of money and gained it all back. He says jokingly that he just hasn’t figured out yet that he isn’t going to die if he misses a meal. Although he has also tried intermittent fasting. He reads labels. He understands how many calories he can have and lose weight. He will not exercise and he will not let the cupboards have a bare spot.
Oh he has exercised like after his heart attack and did great with it. Loved it. Felt better as everyone does who exercises.
When that cardio rehab was over he was to find an activity he could/would do. Still hasn’t. I try not to say anything to him about it anymore. It is up to him to decide he would rather live without the monkey on his back. He does try after a fashion and i am thankful for that.

I think I would try therapy, physical and talk, and I would talk to her doctors about the meds that could support her habits.
I would also take her to a pulmonary doc and a cardiologist. So she can hear/see what damage she is doing and what they suggest. Sometimes people make more of an effort when they are face to face with the facts. Nagging is no good for anyone.

I think it’s great you want to support your mom in quitting.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

I would check with the director of the care home and see if there is a place she can go to smoke. She is not going to quit and if she is old, what's the harm? It is probably one of the few things that she enjoys at this point, so let her have something that brings her comfort.
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Reply to Barbarasfriend
Hothouseflower Mar 20, 2023
Agreed. Maybe they have a designated area where residents can smoke. I live in a condo where no smoking is allowed, except for the designated area.

Speaking for myself, I plan to start smoking again when I hit 80. I quit a long time ago but really miss it. I figure when I'm on borrowed time anyway as an old lady of 80, why not start up again. We all die of something. It's better than dying in bits and pieces in your 90s as a nonsmoker as I'm witnessing my parents doing.
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Call the "Care giver" on this site and "A Place for Mom" and ask where there is an assisted living place that provides a screened in porch or something similar to accommodate smokers. My mother was permitted to smoke on the screen porch when the nurses could see her through the windows. I was very grateful that they showed compassion for an old dinosaur.
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker

The question (or answer) is:

If she continues to smoke, she may be kicked out of the facility.
Then, she will end up wherever she does and it may not be a good situation for her.
* She may be very depressed with a "I don't care" about herself, life, what happens to her. See about medication for depression and anxiety.
* You cannot 'tell' or 'teach' anyone to stop smoking. Even threats (real or not) of being asked to leave a home/facility.
* Depending on her mental / cognitive functioning, you tell her:
If you do xxx, you will have to leave. There is no place for you to go (or however you want to say this). Likely these threats/words won't matter to her.
- Do what you need to do to make life easier FOR YOU. And it likely will be your responsibility to move her if that is required. You may / will feel resentment, angry, etc. This is, perhaps, something that you may or may not have to take on - I do not know your legal situation (or emotional/psychological). Certainly, you don't want your mom 'dumped on the street' due to her not following rules. With that said, you MUST take care of yourself.
* You might be able to try 'patches' or something although this issue is more deep rooted. It is an addiction. Not easy to deal with personally for anyone, let alone an older person.

Gena / Touch Matters
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Reply to TouchMatters

I know of several people who have quit smoking by using a hypnotist. Ask around and maybe you’ll find one.
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Reply to Fawnby

First I would ask how is she getting her cigarettes, is she able to shop for them herself? Does someone supply her with them? The real issue is that her addiction has brought out her selfish side of "not caring" about rules. As another commenter stated there are many ways to help her quit but she needs to want to quit or it will be to no avail. Does she value her doctors advice? If so perhaps the doctor might be able to get through to her regarding her health and the need to stop smoking. You need to lay it out to her in terms of her disregard of rules, being selfish by disregard and her health needs going forward. She needs to hear that her living assistance might change and she won't be able to smoke. Cut off any assistance to her to be able to obtain cigarettes and let her know you won't help her if she gets kicked out of any living facility. I don't know what else might motivate her but you can only tell her what you will or will not do to help her. Support her if she does try to stop but offer no help if she disregards the rules.
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Reply to Breezy23

Everyone I know who quit smoking did it cold turkey. They just stopped. Sometimes they did it on their own other times they were forced ( in the hospital and they would not allow smoking). One would think the cost would be enough to get people to quit. It was for my wife.
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Reply to Sample

Thank you for your responses.
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Reply to AmyPoff

Many AL while they will not allow smoking in the building will allow it outside, generally in 1 area on the premises.
You / she can try the patch. She can try the gum.
But unless she WANTS to quit these methods will not work.
When/if she moves to AL if she does not have access to a vehicle it will be more difficult for her to get cigarettes but not impossible. Most AL will do weekly shopping trips or there are friends or other residents that might provide cigarettes.
From what you have written.."she does not really care that it is not allowed" it does not sound like she wants to quit. (and if she does so in AL and is caught she may be asked to leave) This might be a situation where if it is possible she remains where she is and pays for more caregivers either more caregivers or longer hours to enable them to help her with increasing needs.
You do not mention dementia so hoping that she will forget that she smokes is out of the question.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Assuming she’s a longtime smoke with little desire to quit, I doubt there’s much you can do to help. My dad quit a huge smoking addiction early in his career, cold turkey, when his doctor told him it would soon cost him his career if he didn’t, that was huge motivation. We have friends with a mom in assisted living, she’s a longtime smoker with no ability or desire to quit. She had to transition to vaping in assisted living, which is allowed in the one where she lives. That’s as close to quitting as she will ever be. I wish you the best in this, battling a long addiction isn’t easy
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Reply to Daughterof1930

That is unusual. My brother's ALF did allow smoking, and had a particular place to do it that was outside and some little distance from their cottages.

Have you spoken to you Mom about this? Because I think at this point if this is a medical necessity she needs to know that, and she will need to speak with her doctor about whether or not she can safely medically use nicotine gum or patches. They can be a bit dangerous heart-wise for elderly if not correctly used.

I think with any serious addiction, and cigarettes are one, you cannot be of tremendous help other than speaking with your Mom, and seeing to it that there is an MD consult before this happens. Speak also to the admins at the facility, for this cannot be a new problem to them. And I wish you the best of luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

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