Pilot Program Yields Nursing Home Oral Health Toolkit
October 26, 2012 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
Poor dental health has been associated with numerous life-threatening conditions, including aspiration pneumonia, poor glycemic control in diabetic individuals, atherosclerosis, and dementia and cognitive decline, according to a study in the September 2012 Annals of Long-Term Care. With as many as 94% of long-term care residents unable to provide for their own oral hygiene or care for their own dentures, and help from staff such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) often failing to meet best-practice standards, the University of Kentucky dental school sought to work with a local long-term care organization to establish a pilot program to improve residents' dental health. The pilot program focused on training a single CNA from the long-term care organization through the use of four self-instructional PowerPoint presentations.