It’s midnight when everyone’s fast asleep.
The pitter-patter of feet can be heard from someone rushing to the kitchen.
It’s you from the past.
When you were young, you would hoard all the chocolate from the cupboard and not worry about any potential consequences.
Those sweets would quickly melt away after you played with your friends after school. Or would go away because of your solid teeth and professional brushing skills.
But times change, and people age, unfortunately.
Now you feel worried when someone offers you a bunch of hard dark chocolate.
“My teeth might fall out!”- you think to yourself.
And you have every right to be concerned since several eating problems affect the majority of the elderly population.
1. Difficulty Chewing
Everyday activities of chewing food can become difficult because of various issues.
Loose teeth, jaw pain, reduced saliva secretion are significant contributors to affecting your chewing abilities. Hence, it’s recommended for the elderly to be careful when it comes to what they eat.
For example, if you’re going to choose what type of grains you can eat, it’s best to go for oatmeal and noodles. For fruits, choose banana and ripe apricot. While for vegetables and meat, opt for tomato, spinach, minced meat, boiled eggs, and salmon.
Also, remember to chop, puree or blend your food for easier consumption. And don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly.
2. Reduced Taste
Part of the eating experience that makes it pleasurable is to smell and taste what delicious platter you have in front of you.
If your taste buds are not working correctly, you won’t enjoy eating. Many elders skip meals because they lose the ability to taste a wide variety of food.
While some cases might be due to aging, others can be directly attributed to smoking. Nicotine in cigarettes can cause functional changes in your taste buds that would alter their functionality altogether.
If you’re a chronic smoker, it would be better if you stopped smoking for the sake of your poor taste buds.
On a final note, to bring more flavor to your cooking, add herbs and spices like oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, ginger, and garlic. You can also toss some spring onions and squeeze some lemon juice to enrich your salad.
3. Dry Mouth
Many elders suffer from dehydration because of reduced abilities to seek water. Past 70, the elderly brain receives fewer signals that indicate the need for hydration, thus causing dry mouth.
Dryness of the mouth can also occur because of decreased saliva production. For this reason, it’s advised to eat more soups, mix pureed food with gravy, and always have a cup of water next to you as a daily reminder.
A lot of elders get anxious when they think about transitioning to a care home also because of eating issues. But don’t fret since there’s assisted living in Eugene OR, that will help you with your nutritional needs. They offer customized meal plans that will cater to your taste buds!
Ultimately, when it comes to dealing with dry mouth spells, you can try to suck on lozenges, candies or sour pickles, or fresh lemon slices to stimulate your saliva.