Foundation Spotlight – Healthy Aging Month
As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to care for our teeth and oral health. We know that older adults retain their natural teeth much longer than before, but those who are homebound or reside in a nursing facility may postpone or forgo oral health care due to limited access.
That's why in 2012, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation announced the following long-term strategic goal focused on Iowa seniors:
Every Iowa nursing home resident and homebound elderly person will have access to oral health care by 2020.
Since then, the Foundation held two actionable knowledge session called Educate and Motivate on oral health care for older adults. Educate focused on educating interested stakeholders where they learned about best practice models found throughout Iowa and the U.S. Motivate, held in July, focused on identifying solutions in Iowa that can optimally improve access to oral health care for nursing home and homebound seniors. The Foundation is currently planning the third and final session, Activate, for late fall.
With limited data on access to oral health care, the Foundation focused on existing oral health data to develop a baseline measurement to evaluate future efforts. Currently, data collected suggests only a small portion of older Iowans in this population receive dental services.
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