Nutrition and Dental Care Part 2: Diet and the Nursing Home Resident

Jane sits in the dining room of her nursing home waiting for lunch with her friend, Josephine. The waitress serves Josephine a plate of roast beef, colorful mixed vegetables and baked potato with a dollop of sour cream. With it comes a slice of apple pie for dessert.

As Jane looks longingly at her friend’s meal, the waitress brings Jane’s lunch: a texture-less brown glob, a beige mound, a pink mass. With it comes pudding for dessert. Jane’s meal is also beef, potato and vegetables, but each food item has been pureed. A blender has turned a delicious meal into mush.

Even though this process enables people to eat who have trouble chewing, pureeing removes the texture and visual appeal that make food appetizing. A pureed diet is just plain boring!

Nutrition Blog Part 2

One reason some people require this special diet is their teeth. For those with missing teeth chewing is difficult at best. For others, poorly fitting removable dentures are the problem. Even after many adjustments, modifications and remakes, they can still be loose and uncomfortable.

Mealtime for long-term care residents can be the highlight of their day. Needing to live on a pureed diet becomes one more of the age-related issues that affect their quality of life and can lead to poor self-esteem, depression, deteriorating health and weight loss. Research shows that denture wearers eat more high cholesterol foods with less protein, vitamins and minerals in their diet.

Even though they are acquainted with dental implants many seniors assume they are too old for this advanced treatment. In reality, dental implants have been successful for patients as old as 95.  Dental implants allow people to eat normally with a diet that is more nutritious as well as more appetizing. Reports have shown that older people who have replaced their dentures with implant-supported teeth have an improvement in their quality of life. 

In fact, studies have shown an improvement in quality of life for people with degenerative diseases like dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Dental implant treatment provides satisfactory function even in individuals who have substantial needs for supportive care.

Dental implant treatment is routine for adult patients of all ages.  For more information about treatment options, please call us at 215-646-6334. Read Nutrition and Dental Care Part 1: Diet and Dental Implants

In the photo: Lemon flavored sparkling water, delicious cupcakes, spinach salad with sesame seed dressing and broccoli quiche, fruit tarts, cucumber watercress and pimento tea sandwiches, Bigelow tea, assorted breads from Wissahickon Library British Tea held at the Ambler Library.

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