Senior Living Insurance: Why Oral Health is Important for the Elderly

Senior Living Insurance: Why Oral Health is Important for the ElderlySenior Living Insurance: Why Oral Health is Important for the Elderly

In recent years, the families of nursing home residents have raised concerns over the oral health of their elderly loved ones. Residents are plagued by cavities, gum disease, and cracked teeth, and this is all partly due to the fact that they are not receiving the oral care they should be. Of course, nursing home employees are swamped with many tasks on a day to day basis, so understandably, ensuring that residents brush their teeth may fall to the bottom of the to-do list. However, neglecting oral health can lead to pain for these elderly residents.

Dr. Sarah J. Dirks, a dentist who treats nursing home residents in San Antonio, says that the lack of daily oral care in nursing facilities is “an epidemic that’s almost universally overlooked.” Of course, extenuating circumstances may be involved. Nearly two-thirds of long term nursing home residents have dementia and don’t know how to properly care for their teeth, and/or they resist oral care by clenching their mouth shut or even trying to hit nursing home staff. The National Institutes of Health is currently financing research to address such resistance among nursing home residents with dementia.

As we get older, our dental needs become increasingly specialized, making regular oral care even more essential. Some common problems to watch out for in the elderly are:

  • Gum Disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Root Decay
  • Oral Cancer
  • Dry Mouth
  • Difficulty Brushing and Flossing
  • Limited Dentist Access

The limited dentist access is the toughest challenge faced by nursing home residents and their families. One solution to this is keeping a dental hygienist on staff at your nursing home. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, more than 30 states now allow hygienists to provide some treatment without specific authorization from a dentist, making dental care more accessible to nursing homes.

At DigniCARE, we’re poised to help your senior living facility meet the challenges of a changing environment where the goal is to elevate the quality of life for residents. Our services encompass innovative solutions for nursing homes insuranceassisted living facilitiesindependent living facilities, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more call (855) 883-6306.

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