In recognition of National Caregivers Month in November, Oral Health America (OHA) launches Older Adults and their Caregivers as part of their Campaign for Oral Health Equity. This is just one of the many ways in which OHA continues to lead the way toward healthier mouths for older adults.
Currently, 92% of seniors are aging in their communities with the assistance of a family caregiver, neighbor or friend who helps them carry out activities of daily living. This wide array of activities may include bathing and feeding but may also include grocery shopping or providing transportation to appointments. These activities could and should include helping the older adult in their care to maintain a healthy mouth, especially given the associations between oral health and overall health.
With an expected 72.1 million seniors living in the United States by 2030, Older Adults and their Caregivers addresses the many oral and overall health-related issues that older adults face. These include getting adequate nutrition, managing medications, dealing with chronic diseases and avoiding isolation. The campaign includes caregivers because 42 million people in the U.S. are providing $450 billion in unpaid care to ensure their loved ones are able to age in place.
“Through the Wisdom Tooth Project®, OHA educates older adults and their caregivers about the impact of oral health on their overall health. We know that older adults can’t always care for themselves, so this campaign allows us to reach out to those entrusted with helping others to age healthily at home,” said Beth Truett, President and CEO of OHA. “We are grateful that so many family members, friends and others devote time to help older adults. Older Adults and their Caregivers allows us to share our resources, including OHA’s Toothwisdom.org website, giving caregivers and older adults valuable oral health information and the ability to connect with care through the site’s Find Care tool.”
In a spirit of thanks, OHA’s campaign includes “Caregiver Kudos” where older adults and family members living a distance from their loved ones can thank those that help them with activities of daily living through social media. Entries will be posted on OHA’s social sites. Visit oralhealthamerica.org/seniors for more information and to find resources for caregivers and older adults.
As part of the Older Adults and their Caregivers campaign, Ivoclar Vivadent is generously doubling the impact of all gifts made through December 31. To learn more about Oral Health America and make a donation to advance their work, visit oralhealthamerica.org.
ABOUT ORAL HEALTH AMERICA (OHA)
Oral Health America’s mission is to change lives by connecting communities with resources to drive access to care, increase health literacy and advocate for policies that improve overall health through better oral health for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. Through Smiles Across America®, which serves 447,000 children annually, the Wisdom Tooth Project®, which reaches tens of thousands of older adults, and the Campaign for Oral Health Equity, which prioritize oral health alongside other chronic diseases, OHA helps Americans of all ages to have a healthy mouth and to understand the importance of oral health for overall health. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit oralhealthamerica.org.