John and Fran, Loughborough
John started smoking in his teens, but years of smoking left him suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).
John was referred to QuitReady as his condition was deteriorating, and he was going to need oxygen at home. After smoking for over 60 years, John finally beat the habit with the support of home visits from Zahida, his stop smoking advisor.
John has dementia and we talked to his wife Fran who is also his full-time carer.
“John had tried to quit in the past and hadn’t managed, but the support he received from QuitReady this time was brilliant.”
Because of John’s dementia, it was more difficult for him to break many of the smoking habits that were so ingrained. Fran came up with a solution – by giving John a sticker for every day he hasn’t smoked, he finds it easier to visualise his achievements. The stickers are displayed on their kitchen wall and John enjoys counting them with his grandchildren.
Dementia also makes it difficult for John to communicate over the phone.
“The home visits worked really well. Zahida was so kind and understanding, she always took the time to make sure he to understood everything.”
Since quitting, John’s breathing has improved so much that he no longer needs oxygen treatment at home. This is a huge relief to the couple, as he would have been on his oxygen machine for 16 hours a day. Life is easier for Fran now too:
“Due to the COPD, John can’t walk far or stand for long. As his carer, I was always having to take him outside in his wheelchair so he could smoke. We couldn’t go out for a meal, as wheeling him in and out of the restaurant to smoke was just too difficult.”
And quitting has left the couple better off financially:
“We’re saving £40-£50 a week. This makes a big difference to us as we are both pensioners.”
Would the couple recommend the service to others?
“Definitely, it’s a miracle, I never thought he would quit. If they can do it for John, they can do it for anyone.”