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New Facebook Mentorship Product Excellent for Senior Engagement

In November 2017, Facebook announced the early stages of its Mentorship and Support product. Initially limited to education and crisis recovery groups, the platform has been expanding into other select sectors to build strong, supportive communities.  For digitally connected seniors, this development establishes another opportunity for connectivity, fulfillment, and legacy.

Making Group Connections

According to an August 2018 update, the Mentorship program is now available “to people [ages 18+] within select groups focused on parenting, professional and personal development.” Facebook groups are easily created and managed by both private individuals and business pages. Group Admins establish the mentorship program within their group, selecting from a variety of mentorship templates including “career advancement, skill development, or encouragement and support,” whichever best fits the group’s community and program intentions. Once the opportunity is announced, interested group members can sign up as either a mentor or mentee. It will be up to the group Admin to best pair individuals based on sign-up responses and group engagement observations; this platform truly relies on a strong group community.

Guided Engagement and Progress

Matched mentor / mentee pairs will be connected onto the Mentorship platform on Facebook. Pairs can also choose to connect through Facebook Messenger. The Mentorship platform includes a guided timeline with milestones for pairs to achieve. Milestones may include introductions, resource exploration and sharing, skill knowledge, planning, etc. Facebook Mentorship will encourage users to check in with each other on a weekly basis.

The New Age of Apprenticeship

Giving and sharing knowledge is how cultures continue to exist. The development of Web 2.0 and social media does not end the value of our seniors, their life skills, and their insight. For tech-savvy seniors, the new Facebook Mentorship program is a wonderful opportunity to engage with future generations, create new relationships, learn and grow, and impart priceless experience and information.

Get Active in Your Larger Community to Fill Your Senior Community

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Many of the greatest marketing success stories we hear have a common theme. Facilities that attract seniors from their community are often deeply involved in that community. Making yourself a vital, everyday part of your town makes it easier for seniors and their families to become a resident when the time comes.

Becoming a positive fixture in your community takes time, consistency and plenty of visibility. Are you ready to think outside of the box and find ways to weave yourself into the fabrics of your local society? Here are a few of our best ideas for becoming a facility your community trusts and is willing to call home:

  1. Be active in local athletic events, festivals and traditions. Being a monetary sponsor isn’t enough. Staff a table at the event, put your items in goody bags and gather teams to participate in charity runs. Become an active part in these events, rather than a passive sponsor.
  2. Host your own events to invite the community in. You can go big or small with these, but the idea is to make it natural to come into your community. Encourage residents to have a part and consider events like health fairs, fundraiser dinners for resident organizations, Halloween trick-or-treating and breakfasts with Santa. Have admissions and senior staff offer tours during these events, but keep the focus on giving.
  3. Host workshops and sessions. Partner with local experts or grab one of your own to host informative sessions on topics that relate to seniors. Consider Medicare, knowing when it’s time to choose a facility, and being an advocate.
  4. Offer free meeting space. Advertise to your local Chamber of Commerce and community groups that you have meeting space available for members to use. Free meeting space can be a very hot commodity and make your facility a naturally frequented place in town!
  5. Sponsor a youth sports team. Sponsor a little league, swim or youth soccer team in your residents’ names. Arrange a social with the team, transport residents to games and have the residents create goody bags for the end of the season.

Think about your community as a whole and what’s important to the people who live there. There are countless unique ways to get involved and bring a positive impression of your facility.

Benefits of Music in Improving Memory Care

Providers of communities servicing the elderly can attract more residents/clients and families by incorporating services such as music therapy that will enhance the lives of its customers. As humans, music resonates within the depths of our soul. It brings joy, laughter, and a sense of peace especially music derived from our cultural background or that of our ethnicity. Memory Care Image

According to Dassa & Amir (2014) of the Journal of Music Therapy people living with moderate to late stages of Alzheimer’s when provided with music therapy can aid in their limited speech and clarity in pronunciation, which in effect can create moments for meaningful conversations. Within this study, people with Alzheimer’s were presented with music, in particular, the singing of old tunes in a group setting. Such songs that were familiar to those people evoked happiness among them because no doubt the music brought back positive memories.  Songs especially linked to their past and those associated with “social or national identities,” Dassa & Amir (2014), had the most significant effect in meaningful conversations after the therapy session was over. The results of the therapeutic music transcended memories that were embedded in the minds of the people under study but were inaccessible due to limited conversations, the unfortunate effect of Alzheimer’s. Memories of past experiences linked with familiar songs had a special connection to the people and their renewed ability of alertness causing them to participate in talks that gave them a renewed sense of life and appreciation for others around them. After singing the old tunes, the people were eager to participate in spontaneous discussions about the memories the music evoked. They communicated requiring no prompts to engage in the conversation. The people “expressed positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment, and belonging,”  Dassa & Amir (2014).

If more providers incorporate meaningful programs or activities geared toward the development of improved memory for the elderly, they will be able to attract more potential clients or customers. If the elderly can continue to communicate despite Alzheimer’s or other deteriorating diseases, they will be able to live a fulfilling life knowing that their loved ones and those who care for them are around. People live longer when they are happier and have healthy relationships in their lives.

Caregiver Preparations for the Holidays

by: Brent Scott

As a caregiver, you may be asked by your clients or their loved ones to help out during the Holidays. From shopping for gifts to wrapping and shipping, offering this assistance is a great way to brighten up the season. To make things safe and easy, we are sharing a few strategies both you and your client can use while preparing for the holidays.

In-Store Shopping TipsLifelock image

  • Don’t leave your client or bags, purses, or wallets unattended while shopping in-store. Shoplifters often look for elderly individuals who may be preoccupied or easily distracted in order to steal their belongings. When shopping this season, consider bringing a carabiner clip to attach your client’s belongings to their cart, mobility scooter, or being.
  • Keep track of your client’s cash, cards, and receipts. It’s essential that caregivers help their client stay organized as it’s the best way to ensure nothing has been forgotten, stolen, or already purchased. After exchanging money, you should have your client confirm they got their change/credit card and receipt and watch them put it back in their wallet before moving to the next store.

Online Shopping Tips 

  • Avoid using public networks and shared wifi hotspots. Cybercriminals often seek out and hack public hotspots in order to monitor user activity. In some cases, it’s possible the information being stolen could contain a credit card number or other personally identifiable information. Therefore, it’s advised that less tech savvy seniors avoid public wifi at all costs.
  • Help your client navigate the Internet. Pointing your client towards trusted online retailers and authentic websites is the easiest way to keep them away from potentially fake or hazardous sites that could introduce malware. Identifying an authentic site is made easier as most major e-commerce sites will state if they’re secured in the beginning of the URL. An SSL certification will denote the URL search bar with a lock and/or “s”, looking like this: “https://”. However, it’s just as important that your client is wary of suspicious emails from online retailers and delivery companies.
  • If your client is an avid online shopper, suggest they print their receipts. Keeping both in-store and online receipts organized can help identify a potential scam or financial error.
  • Remind your client to double check their receipts, financial statements, and credit card bills after shopping. Fraudsters love the holidays, as many individuals are too busy or unaware they could be shopping safer. Checking this information regularly is a helpful practice to avoid surprises, and in some cases, could even stop a potential issue before it happens.

Shipping & Deliveries

  • Help your client keep a schedule for expected mail and deliveries. As they shop, or start hearing from distant relatives, have them write down a few things. The shipping or post date and estimated delivery date are great pieces of information to have. Preparing a schedule, even if inaccurate, can still help you plan ahead as you may be expected to sign for and bring in mail, packages, and deliveries.

New Technology and Devices

  • As communication technology continues to evolve, so do the holiday gifts. Tablets and smart devices like Alexa make it easier than ever to communicate with long distance loved ones. Alexa is a great assistant for elderly individuals who live independently but still need help turning on/off lights, opening doors, or who need medication reminders.  If you think your client would benefit from one of these devices, request the gifter set up the device for the user in advance to wrapping. If the device doesn’t come setup, you may be asked to help. Just follow the instructions, and if in doubt, watch a youtube tutorial.

A Guide to Independent Living Communities

by: Carylanne Crowne

Many people aged 55 and older try to maintain their independence by living at home. They may not realize that they are actually less independent by remaining in their old home. Independence can be limited by mortgage, property tax, and home maintenance expenses. Seniors’ health and happiness can suffer from a high level of stress and anxiety. Seniors on a fixed income may live in dread of an unexpected expense. Living alone with insufficient human contact, feeling less safe as fall risk increases, and as vision and hearing begin to deteriorate, creates increasing anxiety. Seniors who can no longer drive have less access to friends and family, shopping, and even medical appointments. Eventually, seniors may be faced with the question: Are you an independent senior, or a senior trapped alone in your house?

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities may present the perfect alternative to remaining in your old home. Such communities range from age-restricted neighborhoods to enclosed, self-sufficient and full-service environments. Research them online, and visit as many as you can, asking all of the questions you have. Then determine which community offers the right balance between comfortable independence and stress-relieving services for you.

Renting or owning a home in an age-restricted neighborhood provides the benefit of living among many people similar to yourself. You have the ability to socialize and make more friends your age who may enjoy the same activities you do. Senior neighborhoods generally do not offer services. If you have a high degree of independent functioning, this may be right for you.

Other independent living facilities offer apartments in sizes from studio to three-bedroom. Some provide the option of small, single-level cottages. Apartment leases should include flexible terms to allow for changes in your circumstances. Communities like these are more compact, and easier to walk. Indoor and outdoor amenities helpful for older people are provided. These communities may offer some housekeeping, relieving you of some daily chores.

Full-service independent living communities offer expansive services to provide worry-free independent living. Besides housing, these communities offer meals in a community setting; transportation to medical appointments; classes, social events and recreational activities onsite; and community outings. Seniors can determine the right balance for them between privacy in their separate residences and socializing. They also have easy access to help if they need it. Home medical or personal care usually must be arranged and paid for by the senior resident.

Are Independent Living Communities Affordable?

The cost of an independent living community will vary by state, specific location, size of residence, and amenities offered. That creates a range from $1400 to $6600 per month, according to www.after55.com/independent-living. There may be an entrance fee, community fees, or a second-person fee.

In return, your rent will include most utilities, one to three meals per day, community and recreational activities, and an emergency call system and safety features. Very often your facility will also offer housekeeping, laundry service, and transportation for shopping and medical appointments. Items that offset the costs of independent living communities include no mortgage or property tax, decreased utility bills, no home maintenance costs, and no need for a car and its associated costs.

Selling your house will release funds for your new lifestyle. If you have maintained long-term care insurance, that will also help pay for a place in an independent living community. Retirement benefits and veteran’s benefits may add to your options. Family members can also provide important help. They want you to be comfortable and safe.

What if Moving is Too Much for Me?

Leaving your old home is a major change. It may be the home in which you raised your children, or hold other sentimental meaning. Give yourself time to adjust to the idea of moving.

When you are ready, call on friends and family to help you find a reputable and affordable moving company. Call on them again to help you sort through your belongings, an often overwhelming task. Sell or give away items you won’t need in your new residence. At least put them into storage. Keep sentimental photos or items ready to immediately put up and arrange in your new residence. Choose furniture and decor that make your new space comfortable and welcoming.

Before moving, visit the community and meet some of the residents. Spend some time there, so you’ll have friends waiting for you. Get family members on board for frequent visits during the early weeks after you move, to ease the transition. Then start to explore your new community. You may well find that the freedoms and services offered make you more independent than ever before.

Caryl Anne Crowne is a contributing writer and media specialist for Aveanna Healthcare. She often produces content for a variety of healthcare blogs.

Social Media — Where Is My Target Demographic?

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With the decline of television viewing, and the rise of internet use and social media, it may be time to redistribute advertising budgets in a way that will reach modern audiences. But the choices are endless, and there are so many outlets, each with its own ‘personality’ and dominant demographic. For retirement living and care homes, advertising should be directed at the right age group: those who might be interested in those services, and the adult children who might be making decisions on their behalf, or in conjunction with them, as part of a long term care plan. Studying the patterns of specific social media use can target advertising budgets more efficiently.

Facebook Is First

For sheer numbers, Facebook is a key player, at just over 2 billion users in 2018. By reputation, and by statistics, it tends toward an older user base, with the 25 – 34 group at 29.7%. As younger people have moved away from Facebook, seniors have embraced it as a way to connect with distant family and friends. Founded in 2004, it is also one of the oldest social media platforms, and therefore more ubiquitous in a more mature group. Facilities can build their own pages here, and form groups to help people connect at a time of life that can prove isolating.

Twitter For News Bites

The brevity of Twitter, with each ‘tweet’, or message, limited to 280 characters, is part of its charm. The immediate availability of news as it happens helps keep seniors abreast of news and helps them feel more engaged with their community and the world. Facilities can create a Twitter profile that might include photographs and positive messages from current residents and staff about the amenities and activities that are ongoing. Though Twitter’s users skew a little younger, it is on the rise among the elderly, and may reach a more tech savvy audience willing to ‘tweet’ their gratitude and appreciation for all the things a facility has made available to them.

Social media is huge, and still growing. It has become necessary to embrace these sites and take advantage of all they have to offer. With careful study, advertising dollars can be directed to the most appropriate viewers, to make the most of even the tightest budget.

Treating Diabetes in Seniors

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by: Chandler Coleman

According to the CDC, 30 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes. Although, many adults and seniors are unaware of what diabetes actually is and how it affects the body. Diabetes is a disorder of the human metabolism (the way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy), is separated into three main types: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Only about five percent of all people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually begins at birth or a very young age. And although type 2 diabetes is treatable, the risk of heart disease and stroke is greatly increased. For those older than 50, diabetes is much more common. It is important to stay active and consult with your doctor about a healthy, balanced diet. Let’s look at what can put you at risk for diabetes and the early onset symptoms that could help save thousands of lives each year.

Who is At Risk for Diabetes?

There are a number of risk associated with diabetes. While some are simply based on an individual’s genes, there are others that relate to lifestyle factors. Research shows being overweight or obese is a top reason for type 2 diabetes. Because of the rise in obesity among U.S. children, this type is affecting more teenagers than ever before. If you are obese, you are also at a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure. Other factors include a sedentary lifestyle with very little physical activity, as well as a family history of diabetes and your age. As you grow older, your chances of developing type 2 diabetes goes up exponentially.

What are the Symptoms?

Especially during the holiday season, visiting your senior family members, watch for these symptoms, as they are the first indicators that something is wrong. The warning signs of diabetes are very serious and should alert you to seek medical attention immediately. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Frequent urination or urine infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision

Treatments for Diabetes

Insulin

Patients with diabetes manage their condition by taking insulin multiple times a day. Treating diabetes with insulin shots at regular intervals helps patients avoid serious complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, which stems from inadequate glucose in the blood. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include head and stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, reduced alertness, and dry skin.

Medication

Additionally, a doctor may prescribe a medication like Invokana, Jardiance or another SGLT2 inhibitor to be combined with insulin treatment and/or healthy lifestyle choices. SGLT2 inhibitors are a class of prescription medicines that are FDA-approved for use with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is important to talk to your doctor about what medications are safe to use and what treatment is the best for you. Some of these SGLT2 inhibitors, such as Invokana, can have traumatic side effects that can cause serious infections and even lower-limb amputations.

Lifestyle Type 2 diabetes patients can manage the condition through healthy eating and regular physical activity. These treatments also help with gestational diabetes.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk?

The following are preventative measures you can follow to limit your risk of developing diabetes at some point in your lifetime.

  • Weight Loss: Since carrying excess weight is a significant risk factor in the development of Type 2 and gestational diabetes, losing weight can help prevent the onset of diabetes.
  • Physical Activity: Staying active for at least half an hour, five days per week, greatly reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Healthy Eating: Eating foods and drinking liquids that are low in calories, fat, and sugar can help prevent Type 2 diabetes, and contributes toward maintaining a healthy weight.

Spend time this November — as it has been deemed Diabetes Awareness Month — discussing the facts about diabetes with your immediate family, and stay up to date with doctors’ visits to find out your odds of developing diabetes at some point in your lifetime. And during the holidays, stay vigile to ensure older loved ones are eating healthy and keeping active. A simple blood test can diagnose prediabetes, which affects millions of people (most of which are unaware of the fact.) This November, spread the word and help save the lives of thousands of adults each year.

Taking Falls Seriously

Can you guess how many billions of dollars in medical costs are attributable to falls amongst adults over 65? $10 billion? $20 billion? Try $50 billionElderly falling image

While it’s fairly well-known that older adults are at a higher risk than other groups for experiencing a fall, as a senior or a caregiver to one, you may not quite grasp the magnitude of how falls affect older adults, their families, and the healthcare system overall.

More Seniors are Falling

Why do over a quarter of seniors experience at least one fall every year? The risk factors seem to be growing. In addition to general age-related muscle loss that can contribute to leg weakness, seniors are experiencing increasing rates of:

  • Chronic illness – long-term conditions including diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and stroke can all impact balance, coordination, and mobility. With any of these factors at play, falls are more likely.
  • Medication usage – studies show that not only are four out of five seniors taking at least one medication per day, but many are also taking more than one medication, including those that may have interactions or side effects which can contribute to a fall, like dizziness or faintness.
  • Aging alone – as more and more adults seek to age in place, they oftentimes ending up doing so on their own. Even if caregivers or family members visit intermittently, seniors living on their own may attempt seemingly harmless activities that put them at higher risk for falling like climbing stairs while dizzy to get to bed.
  • More adults are becoming “seniors” – the Centers for Disease Control report that upwards of 10,000 adults turn 65 in the U.S. every single day. If simply being older is a risk factor for falling, it’s easy to see how more fall incidents are occurring.

Mortality Rates from Falls are Climbing

Even a seemingly benign fall can result in debilitating injuries like a hip fracture, head trauma, lacerations, sprains, and so forth. Not only can this affect mobility and activity levels, but fall injuries can negatively impact a seniors independence, their ability to live on their own, and their ability to drive.

But what about death? Do falls contribute to higher mortality rates among seniors. Recent research says yes.

2018 morbidity and mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control looked at the incidence rates of injuries and deaths from falls between 2007 and 2016. It found that the number of seniors who died from a fall increased by over 30 percent. That’s a huge jump.

Over 29,000 adults over 65 died as the result of a fall in 2016 up from just over 18,000 adults in 2007. Falls that result in injuries can lead to hospitalization and even surgery, both of which put older adults at higher risk for infection and other mortality-associated factors.

Serious Fall Prevention

Luckily, additional research has shown that even one fall prevention tactic can help lower a senior’s risk for death. These include:

Checking medications – it is critical that seniors and their caregivers check with all health care providers (family doctors and specialists) about medications. All prescriptions and over-the-counter medications (the types, dosages, and schedules) should be discussed with doctors to catch any potential interactions as well as look at side effects that could lead to falls. These even include dietary supplements. Common medications that may affect balance and alertness include blood pressure medication, sleep aids, and antidepressants.

Balance exercises – cardio and strength-training will always play a critical role in helping seniors maintain a healthy weight and stave off lifestyle diseases but balance exercises will lend themselves directly towards preventing falls. Seniors can use practices like yoga and Tai Chi as well as workouts with balance discs to strengthen core muscles, hone coordination and agility skills, as well as build balance confidence.

Upgrading the living environment – it often falls on caregivers to help seniors upgrade their living environment to remove hazards and add tools which can help prevent falls. This can include cleaning up clutter, clearing common pathways, and possibly even moving sleep quarters to ground floor rooms. Installing grab bars, railings, ramps, shower chairs and so on will also equip a senior with the devices they need to successfully manage tricky environments like bathrooms and stairways.

Scheduling regular checkups – additional factors like vision and hearing loss contribute to falls as well. Regular checkups for vision, hearing, and annual well-checks can help seniors and caregivers catch fall-related risk factors sooner rather than later and take early action. Regular checkups also allow seniors and their caregivers to discuss the details of any falls that have already occurred as well as concerning symptoms like joint pain, nerve pain, or shortness of breath that can contribute to falls.

The Concurrent Care Model Bridges the Gap in Care for the Severely Ill and Dying

Research demonstrates that offering hospice earlier in the course of illness can lead to improved health outcomes and improved patient satisfaction. Support ImageHowever, in the past, services like hospice and palliative care, were offered in isolation, forcing providers and patients to choose between them. The concurrent care model (or simultaneous care model) provides patients with advanced, serious illnesses the opportunity to easily transition from palliative care to hospice. This is why the concurrent care model might just be the innovative solution that population health managers are looking for.

What is The Concurrent Care Model?

The concurrent care model is a practice model that bridges the gap in care for the severely ill and dying. It offers curative care alongside palliative or hospice care, easing the transition from curative and palliative care to hospice. End-of-life programs that have adopted the concurrent care model have seen improvements in the quality of care that their patients receive.

Quality improvements include:

  • Fewer days spent in the intensive care unit
  • Improved patient and family interaction with providers in discussing palliative and hospice care
  • Improved communication between physicians and hospice providers
  • Earlier referral and earlier access to an end-of-life program

Timely Hospice Care May Improve Quality

Timely hospice care can reduce the physical and emotional stress of those experiencing a serious life-limiting medical condition, for both them and their loved ones. It seems reasonable that offering patients curative care “concurrently,” may help ease the transition from palliative care to end-of-life care. The heart failure and palliative care organizations both recommend early palliative care as a critical strategy to improve the quality of life of patients living with the advanced stages of heart failure.

The Concurrent Care Model May Benefit Hospice Providers

Concurrent care may benefit hospice providers, though there are some barriers that stand in the way, specifically financial. Like any service, there is a reimbursement threshold for nonprofit providers, which could result in an increase in hospice spending. Additionally, when patients are transferred to a hospice program earlier, they typically have more advanced care needs. In other words, your program must have the man power and ability to care for patients with more critical care needs.

Dental Care in Seniors and the Shocking Statistics

by: Sarah Morris

Dental care is often neglected by many for different reasons. Most people brush off dental care because of the need to go to dentists. A lot of people are actually afraid of going to the dentist and refuse dental care altogether even if they need them. What’s alarming, however, is that a lot of people, especially seniors, actually need proper dental and oral care. If you’re an older adult or someone who knows an older adult, this article can hopefully enlighten you to pay closer attention to your overall dental health. Dental Care Image

Are you aware that by 2060, adults in the United States who are 65 and older will comprise 24% of the population?  That is equivalent to 98 million older adults. Nearly 20% have completely lost their teeth, and it is twice as prevalent among seniors beyond age 75. Unfortunately, these can cause a lot of problems – including difficulty speaking, digesting food, or even just the fact of appreciating everyday meals.

If you’re handling a senior’s care, especially if you strive to help them become more independent, proper dental care should be a part of your care plan.

Seniors and Dental Care: What are the Statistics?

The above are just some of the hard numbers you ought to be aware of when it comes to seniors and their dental health. If you are in Florida, a Farnham Family Jacksonville Dentist can help you or a senior you know to meet your dental health needs.

Here are some more statistical facts about dental health among seniors that you may want to know:

  • Dental cavities in permanent teeth: A total of 93% of older adults who are at least 65 years old have had dental cavities in permanent teeth. While this is a popular subject in toothpaste advertisements, cavities do pose a significant threat that may hinder an elderly person’s enjoyment and satisfaction with their everyday lives. This is especially given cavities can cause not only tooth loss, but pain as well. Remind seniors in your care that they should prioritize brushing their teeth and using dental floss, especially if they’re able to do so. If they need assistance from you, strive to make sure brushing their teeth is part of your routine.
  • Tooth loss: It might be of interest to note that older adults over 65 years old have an average of 18.90 remaining teeth. If seniors under your care have dentures, be sure to help them clean the dentures properly and have them checked regularly, especially if they’re due for replacements. Try to make sure your seniors are given proper means to care for them as well to maintain their durability.
  • Treatment needs: While the nature of oral health has improved over the past few years, 23% of older adults over 65 have yet to see a doctor in the last five years. In fact, only around 50% of seniors in this age group have visited the dentist within the past year. While a lot might find dental visits trivial, it’s extremely important Dental Care Imageseniors under your care have their visits to the dentist regularly. Aside from mitigating the above, this will also allow you and the dentist to find ways to treat early stages of other dental issues before they can hinder the daily lives of seniors under your care.
  • Periodontal disease: While the prevalence of periodontal or gum disease in older adults has decreased, there are still some disparities in some groups. For instance, 17.20% of older adults aged 65 and above actually have periodontal disease, and 10.58% of the same population group have moderate to severe versions of the disease. If you have seniors under your care, do encourage them to stop smoking as this is a cause of periodontal disease. Encourage them or aid them in practicing their oral health maintenance properly, especially with the assistance of a dentist’s advice.
  • Oral cancer: Around 49,700 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer, a disease that affects both the pharynx and/or the mouth. While not a lot of seniors have oral cancer, it’s still important to make sure you’re on top of your game to help them avoid situations that may lead to this. Aside from practicing good oral health habits, you should make sure they get regular visits to the dentist, and you’re aware of dental conditions that may hinder with their daily lives.

Dental Care, And How It’s Helping Your Seniors With Independence

A lot of people tend to dismiss the idea of dental health because of a lot of things. Some of these include being afraid of dentists, or thinking they can take care of their teeth in general. However, if the above were to be put into consideration, it’s important to remember that when dental health care is neglected with seniors, it can have consequences to their quality of life.

  • If possible, try to check with your healthcare provider if there’s things in place to help promote the provision of dental health care options for the seniors under your care. These range from free checkups to convenience in terms of getting medicine and aid for particular concerns. If not, try to see if there’s a way for you to apply for these. This at least provides you with a mechanism to help seniors in your care.
  • As a caretaker, it’s important to remember there’s actually ways improper dental care can be an inconvenience to the seniors under your care. These include not only pain and discomfort, but even an inability to speak or eat – which can severely hinder them from doing tasks they normally do everyday. Also try to be aware of symptoms of things such as oral cancer, so you can seek help immediately.
  • As a caretaker, it’s important to prioritize your seniors’ dental care primarily because it serves a major role in helping them consume food to keep them healthy and strong. We have to make sure mechanisms that support this continue to work so they won’t be inconvenienced. These include proper maintenance of dentures, cleaning of teeth, and making sure their mouths don’t have risky infections.
  • It’s also important to coordinate with the dentist in this regard, as their advice can be extremely important while seniors under your care are growing. They can make adjustments to particular routines and give advice on what certain medicine or treatments to do in order to maximize comfort and care.

Conclusion: Dental Care Matters Across All Ages

With the above numbers in mind, it helps to understand that taking care of your teeth isn’t just something you do when you have the time or when there’s trouble brewing in your oral health. Regardless if you have cavities, toothache, or just an “ordinary” and “painless” day, it helps to make your conversations and appointments with your dentist part of your routine. As an older person or as someone who knows an older person, it also helps to be familiar with these statistics to remember just how important dental health is for a person to be able to perform a lot of daily tasks properly.