7 March 2009

Australian nursing homes’ oral and dental plan

Australia’s first dental plan for nursing homes
Department of Health and Ageing: 1 March 2009
Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today announced the preparation of the first oral and dental health care plan for nursing home residents.

Under the plan, a staff member from all 2,830 aged care homes will be trained in dental hygiene by next year (2010).

“Unfortunately, many of the older Australians in aged care homes cannot communicate their discomfort and are unable to look after their own dental health,” Mrs Elliot said.

“This plan is about reducing potential pain, malnourishment and discomfort for older Australians,” the Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot said.

The trained staff member will educate other aged care workers to help maintain the teeth of nursing home residents.

The plan includes a “hands on” training program on daily oral hygiene for aged care workers to help older Australians retain their teeth and reduce illness related to dental health.

“The key to improving dental care is to educate aged care workers on how to assist with residents’ oral and dental health,” Mrs Elliot said.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) research shows that in 1979, 60 per cent of residents had no natural teeth and by 1989, it had fallen to 44 per cent. Within 10 years, it is expected to drop to 20 per cent. … > full media release : ADA media release

Also review reading list on dental care

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