Poor dental health may affect adversely elderly’s nutrition intake - SeniorHealth365.com Poor dental health may affect adversely elderly’s nutrition intake
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Poor dental health may affect adversely elderly’s nutrition intake


When you have elderly people in the family, especially if the elderly have dental problems, they may need to pay more attention to the adequate food intake of the elderly and make sure whether they are getting enough nutrition. Consider the case of Jade:

Jade is going to be 90 years old this year and she is healthy enough to live alone. In the past year, she lost 4 teeth in a row and she decided to undergo dental implants. The process of dental implants was much longer than she expected due to the number of teeth involved as well as the prolonged recovery time due to her age. Itt affected her ability to chew food properly and as a result, she avoided a lot of food that she typically has on a daily basis. To compensate for that, she tried some supplementary nutrition milk drink, but she didn’t like the taste and ended up only drinking them sparingly.

This has been going on for sometime before family members came home around festive time last year, and noticed that she has lost a lot of weight. To mitigate her difficulty in chewing food, her family used a small blender to grind the usual meat and vegetables she used to have so she can enjoy her food without much chewing. The blended food was mixed with rice or spaghetti, and she found it much more palatable.   The blended Food allows Jade to enjoy her food in quality and in quantity.  As a result, she gained 2-3 pounds in two weeks, and she sleeps better than before!

Most of the time, the elderly are unwilling to take in extra procedures to improve their dietary situation. It may be that they don’t think they need it; or because it is a new approach which needs adaptation to become part of the old routine ; some are unwilling to admit that they have the needs due to pride etc. Regardless of the reasons, the net effect is that it will adversely affect their quality of life.

In Jade’s case, she is fortunate enough that her children are around to help her by placing the small blender on the dining table, and teaching her how to operate the machine. The objective is to simplify the procedure as much as possible making it easy for Jade to adapt to a new routine.  Jade’s teeth will eventually be fixed and she will have the newly implanted teeth to help her take in her favorite food as before. For others, they may not be as fortunate and they may need help in adapting to a new way of life.

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