Taking care of their oral health is an extremely important step in protecting your senior’s overall health and well-being throughout their later years.
Issues in the mouth, including decay and infection, can lead to serious problems in the entire body. Some of these, including heart disease, can be life-threatening. As a family caregiver, it is essential for you to take as many steps as possible to help your parent stay healthy, which includes ensuring they continue to manage their oral health needs as they age in place.
Some ways you can help your senior manage their oral health needs as they age in place include:
- Make taking care of their mouths, including brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, a part of their daily schedule. A routine supports fulfilling tasks regularly and effectively and can help seniors with cognitive functioning decline remember what they are supposed to be doing
- Ensure they have the right tools available to them. Consider the texture and hardness of their toothbrush, the flavor of their toothpaste, and the design of their floss. All of these can contribute to their effectiveness and whether your parent is willing to fulfill these tasks regularly
- If your parent is struggling with cognitive functioning decline, consider using mimicking to help them take care of their mouths. This mimicking includes you performing each step of the process so your parent can repeat it
- Keep up with their trips to the dentist. Regular cleanings and treatments aren’t just for children. Visiting every six months or as needed keeps the mouth clean and healthy, and allows the dentist to detect signs of decay or infection that need immediate management
- Pay close attention to your parent’s behavior to detect signs of pain, discomfort, decay, or other issues such as loose teeth. This will allow you to intervene as quickly as possible for the highest quality results
Having a home care provider in your senior’s care routine is a fantastic way to help them manage their health and feel empowered to continue taking care of themselves as they age.
Even those elderly adults who are struggling with challenges and limitations in their cognitive and physical abilities can benefit from the highly personalized services of an in-home senior care services provider. This provider will help your loved one manage their needs with support tailored to them, which can include reminders, physical support, guidance, mimicking, and more. This helps your senior to feel more independent and continue engaging in their care as much as possible as they age.