Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Oral Health Programs for Older Adults

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living (ACL), and Office on Women’s Health (OWH) have launched their first website focused on helping communities to promote the oral health of older adults.

Users will be able to find nearly 200 community-based oral health programs through the site’s searchable database, as well as an Oral Health Guide designed to help local organizations start or enhance their own programs.

The need for maintaining good oral health and getting regular check-ups is widely recognized, but there are often large gaps in availability and accessibility of services for older adults, particularly for older women given their longevity and economic resources. Through this new resource, ACL and OWH aim to help close those gaps and assist communities, governments, and other organizations in improving access to high quality oral health care for older adults.

The searchable database can help communities identify an ideal program for replication or enhancement based on diverse search criteria. A community considering the start of its own mobile dental unit, for example, could search for existing programs that fit this criterion and learn more about this type of program.

 The accompanying Oral Health Guide can further assist communities in launching or enhancing their own program. Key tips, case studies, external resources, and other sources of support are included in the Oral Health Guide. For communities that already have an oral health program in place for older adults, the Oral Health Guide can assist with expansion or enhancement.

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