Home Care in Princeton, MA
By the time a person reaches what some may consider an ‘advanced age,’ they may be dealing with a number of health issues. An elderly individual might have hearing related problems, vision problems, or poor oral hygiene or care. They may have dentures and none of their original teeth.
Trying to convince them that oral care is still an important part of their daily routine and overall care can then become even more challenging, especially if the senior doesn’t see any point to proper oral hygiene and care.
No matter whether the senior still has all of their original teeth, relies on dentures, has implants, or are missing several teeth and are just ‘dealing with it,’ it’s still essential to promote positive oral health.
Below are 3 tips that family caregivers can use to encourage their elderly loved one to make oral health a focus:
1. The potential connection between gum disease and heart disease.
In recent years, doctors and periodontists have generally agreed that there are logical reasons why oral health and heart health are connected. Several types of bacteria have been found in both gum disease patients and blood vessels experiencing atherosclerosis.
Another commonality that may indicate a link between gum disease and heart disease is inflammation. According to WebMD, “when people have moderate to severe gum disease, their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that rises during whole-body inflammation, increase. CRP levels are also used to assess a person’s risk of a heart attack.”
2. Focus on hygiene.
A senior who spends most of his or her time at home alone may not focus on hygiene like they did in their younger years. Encouraging the senior’s friends and other loved ones to contact them on a regular basis, make plans to go out to lunch or dinner or some other activity can help them be more focused on personal hygiene. This can include bathing, wearing clean clothing, and brushing their teeth or gums and rinsing with mouthwash to kill germs.
3. Make it a competition.
People love playing games against one another. This is true for seniors as well as children. Try making oral care a type of activity where the senior is competing against somebody else. They could be competing against another family member, a grandchild, or even their family caregiver.
The person who properly brushes their teeth or gums, flosses (if they have their original teeth) and rinses with mouthwash could earn points every single time they do that during the day. At the end of the month, points are tallied and the winner is declared.
Trying any of these tips can make a significant difference in promoting positive oral health for the senior who requires care.
If you or a loved one are in need of non-medical in-home care, contact the caring staff at Griswold Home Care of Worcester, MA. Call today (508) 917-6649.