Oral care is a huge part of making sure that your elderly family member is safe and healthy, but it’s often overlooked. Sometimes people even have phobias about dental care, which can make the entire situation even tougher to manage.
Brushing and Flossing Are Physically More Difficult
Brushing and flossing can be physically more complicated for a variety of reasons. For starters, her mouth may be in pain if she’s got unresolved dental issues. That might mean that she doesn’t do as thorough a job with oral care as she needs to. The other issue is that your senior may physically have limitations with her hands, arms, or shoulders that make it difficult to do what she needs to do.
Her Teeth Have Done a Lot Over the Years
Over time, teeth put up with a lot of abuse. Habits like chewing on ice or other hard foods can create small weaknesses that can result in chips or breakage. Also, if your elderly family member has avoided her dental appointments over the years, her teeth may have suffered for that. Your senior may have even lost some teeth over the years.
Dry Mouth Complicates Oral Care
Dry mouth is a big problem. The mouth is meant to stay moistened from saliva, but there are health issues and medications that can reduce the saliva in your senior’s mouth. When that happens, her teeth can dry out and she may have difficulty swallowing. This can be a problem even if your senior is drinking plenty of water. Talk to her doctor about how your senior’s health and medications could be a factor.
Find Ways to Make it All Easier
What really matters is that you get to the root causes of your senior’s issues and that you work with her to find solutions that make it all easier on her. For example, finding dental assistive devices, like toothbrushes with large, easy-grip handles, can help immensely. There may also be a need for more help than you can personally offer. Home care providers have experience helping with these sorts of tasks and can make the process much easier for your elderly family member.
Proper oral care makes a huge difference for your senior. It helps her to get the nutrients she needs because she’s able to keep eating and she’s less likely to experience mouth pain. It also helps her to have less discomfort overall, which is very important for improving her quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Wheat Ridge, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.