Everyone loves a healthy-looking smile, but now oral health has been identified as a vital part of good general health in the elderly population. Oral health can be crucial for balance and well-being in most people. However, it is also important for proper nourishment, and it promotes positive social interaction.
As we age, we experience common issues and changes with our health. Some of the typical effects of age are gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral ailments. However, with good dental health education, many seniors can prevent some of these issues and develop strategies to help deal with them.
According to The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), senior adults who do not have good dental health are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing endocarditis, pneumonia, and many other problematic health concerns. Some medications taken daily by elderly adults can cause side effects like dry mouth. Dry mouth is a leading cause of tooth decay which could lead to other medical issues. To prevent poor dental health, it is recommended that seniors should visit their dental providers regularly along with keeping their clean teeth daily. For more information on how often it is recommended to visit your dentist, please visit the Government of Bermuda’s Dental Health website.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has extensive information on their website on how to help seniors understand the importance of oral health with additional helpful tips on this topic for caregivers. To review this information in more detail, you can visit the GSA website by clicking here or copying and pasting the following link into your browser. https://www.geron.org/programs-services/alliances-and-multi-stakeholder-collaborations/oral-health-an-essential-element-of-healthy-aging
Becoming a caregiver for a loved one can be a staggering thought and a hard balancing act to achieve. Just because someone becomes a caregiver, doesn’t mean they forego all of their other responsibilities. In fact, most caregivers must continue to lead their everyday lives while trying to give care and compassion to those in need successfully. We hope to help caregivers by offering some strategies to help manage these difficult times.
- Worrying about the future can be a daily fear for a caregiver. Do your best to focus on the moment you are in or the task you are performing, and try not to allow the future to rule your feelings or actions by making you feel overwhelmed. Taking one day at a time is an important part of coping with your caregiving duties.
- Taking on the role of caregiver is an important endeavor, and it only makes sense for you to educate yourself when it comes to medical terms that pertain to your loved one’s needs. There are many resources available on the internet, but it is in your best interest to discuss your questions with your doctors. They are working directly with you and your loved one and can provide clear answers and helpful information to assist you on this journey.
- If possible, ask for help with cleaning your home. This may require you to reach out to supportive family and friends to assist you or hire a company that has experience offering this type of service.
- It may be easier said than done, but planning the tasks you need to do ahead of time can set you up for success and reduce your stress. One example of this could be to set aside one day each week to cook all of your meals. Many great recipes can be found on the internet for cooking bulk meals and freezing them for easy access when it’s mealtime.
- Don’t forget to care for yourself too. The demands of being a caregiver can sometimes cause us to let go of ourselves and entirely focus on the loved one who is in need. Remember you need to stay healthy for yourself and your loved one.
When caregiving for your loved ones, remember that you are doing your best by offering your help to them during this sensitive time, and this is one of the most precious gifts you could offer them. Atlantic Caregiving (ACG) can assist with home health care, senior care, housekeeping, errands, respite care, meal preparation and more. You can learn more about ACG on their website or by contacting them by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 441-292-9690.