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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.