When it comes to aged care, there are various services that elderly people across Australia can access. This includes home care services and medical care at home. However, when it comes to dental care, many elderly people suffer because they are unable to get around in order to visit the dentist to get any dental issues sorted out.
This could become a thing of the past in the New Year, as it has been revealed that a new service that will bring dental care to the home is set to be rolled out. With this nationwide service, dental care will be brought to the homes and bedsides of elderly Australians, ensuring that they are able to benefit from dental healthcare as well as other healthcare and general services.
Negative impact on quality of life
The service is being rolled out by Mobile Dental Clinics Australia (MDCA), which started its fulltime mobile dental service in 2016 in Victoria. However, this service has been steadily growing and expanding since that time and in 2018 will become a nationwide offering.
The director of MDCA, Caitlin Wainrib, said that enabling the elderly to access dental services at home was vital. Dr. Wainrib explained that dental problems could have a severe negative impact on quality of life for elderly patients but often they were unable to take action to get the problem addressed or seen to.
Wainrib added that there was a real need for home dental care, as many elderly patients were no mobile or even bed-ridden so without this service they would struggle to access dental healthcare. She said that in some cases, dental health problems impacted on the person’s ability to eat, so the effects could be far-reaching if the problem wasn’t sorted out. The doctor stated that ongoing dental problems could take away from the enjoyment of life for those in their senior years.
Dr. Wainrib also stated that the effects of dental infections in the elderly could be severe and even life-threatening. She said that this was due to issues such as the inhalation of broken calculus and plaque, which could lead to aspiration pneumonia.
The mobile dental service already caters for elderly clients in elderly care homes and in their own homes. In addition to this, they provide a free dental advice phone service for both clients and non-clients.