New website offers training videos on oral care for nursing home residents with dementia

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New website offers training videos on oral care for nursing home residents with dementia
New website offers training videos on oral care for nursing home residents with dementia

Long-term care workers can now refer to oral care resources on a new website launched by the nonprofit organization Oral Health America. Tools include video training programs on providing daily oral care for nursing home residents with dementia.

The website, called “Tooth Wisdom: Health Resources for Older Adults,” went live this week. It includes separate sections addressed specifically to older adults, caregivers and health professionals.

“In the ‘For Health Professionals' section, we're talking nurses, CNAs, anyone who's delivering care to older adults, including those working in nursing homes,” Oral Health America President and CEO Beth Truett told McKnight's.

The site offers two video training programs on oral care for those with dementia. One is meant for registered nurses/licensed practical nurses, the other for certified nursing assistants. They were developed through a collaboration of the Isabella Geriatric Center and the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, both in New York City.

Other resources for healthcare professionals include a roundup of professional journal articles, recent news items, continuing education opportunities and informational brochures from the New York University College of Dentistry.

Truett noted that long-term care providers also can find helpful information on the site to share with residents and families.

The website features state-by-state information on available geriatric oral care services. For example, clicking on Illinois brings up a list of free and charitable clinics as well as groups such as Chicago Dental HouseCalls, which provides treatment in long-term care facilities.

Oral Health America also has released a report that ranks states based on the oral health of their seniors. Minnesota and Maryland top the list, and Mississippi ranks last. The list was based on five criteria, including access to adult Medicaid dental benefits and the prevalence of community water fluoridation.

The OHA analysis, “State of Decay: Are Older Americans Coming of Age Without Oral Healthcare,” is the latest in a flurry of recent reports drawing attention to poor oral health among the nation's seniors. Recently proposed legislation seeks to expand Medicare and Medicaid coverage of oral health services.

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