Geriatric Family Care

1465 Words 6 Pages
Listening to the Voice of the Voiceless: Family caregivers.
The attitudes and perceptions of family caregivers towards their oral health care experience with geriatric family members living in Quebec-Canada.

Aging has now become a major global burden. Nations around the world are encountering population aging. The number of senior citizens worldwide is growing by 2 per cent each year, to a great extent more rapidly than the the world’s younger population. During the twentieth century in industrial societies, life expectancy has risen at a steady pace and this pattern is expected to persist into the twenty-first century.[1]. For example, the proportion of older persons was 8 per cent in 1950 and 10 per cent in 2000, and is anticipated to achieve
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The general health of older persons typically deteriorates with increasing age; furthermore diminishing function starts gradually and can include decreased manual dexterity, vision impairment, loss of hearing and reduced cognitive ability. All these effects can negatively affect the quality of life of older individuals, as well as reduce their abilities to carry out daily general hygiene, such as bathing and nail care, as well as oral hygiene. Poor oral health among the elderly causes the accumulation of dental plaque that is associated with an increased risk for developing gingivitis, periodontitis and caries, as well as other infections in the oral cavity (6,16). Of all these destructive effects, extensive tooth loss might have the most life-changing consequences. It is known that edentulousness compromises the ability to chew. Even with well-made prosthetic devices (dentures), people will change their dietary habits, from highly fibrous nutritional diets to softer, lower quality and processed foods that are higher in fats. This can lead to weight gain, as well as to the common sequelae of cardiac disease and diabetes (REF). Many studies have also shown a negative impact on the social life and self-esteem that occurs with tooth loss (ADD refs 12). This lack of socialization, in turn, leads elderly people to see themselves as fragile and of no use to society. Thus, self-esteem can be diminished. Furthermore, poor oral …show more content…
Qualitative methods have been used to investigate oral health issues and dental service utilisation with nursing home staff, such as their perceptions of oral health in aged care (20). Studies have also shown high oral health needs and poor oral health outcomes for those residing in aged care facilities (6–8), and these were worse when compared to older people living in a community setting (9,10). The presence of oral care in healthcare protocols in LTC facilities has been ignored for decades. This may be because dental health provision has not been recognized to be as essential as other health services for geriatric populations (4,17). Thus, this would explain the poor oral health status and unmet daily oral needs revealed in elder frail residents in care facilities (3,6,16). On the other hand, the majority of care staff may not be willing or able to provide proper oral hygiene because they may not have specific guidelines to follow (11,14), may lack oral care knowledge and training (3) or may have time limitations and lack of support from the dental community

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