Oral Health for the Elderly: Evaluation and Care


Course Description

Dysphagia Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, and Dietitians all play a role in the oral health of their patients, yet oral hygiene continues to be vastly neglected in nursing home residents. Focused attention has recently been placed on the mouth as a result of the reemerging relationship between oral health and systemic disease, especially aspiration pneumonia. Clinicians of all experience levels may be expected to evaluate and develop intervention plans to address their patients’ oral and dental status without actual instruction. What is normal? What treatment options are available? When does the patient need immediate medical attention? How does a resident’s adverse oral environment affect quality of life? If you need answers to these questions, this course is for you.

This course is designed to be accessible to the intermediate, yet may well provide relevant details to the experienced practitioner. Presented as a lecture via web-based, easy to read text, this course includes color photos, live web links, and case studies. Additional enhancements such as references and glossary, email communication with the instructor enrich the learning experience. Practical activities allow for a “hands-on” feel and encourage the learner to use the new information immediately.

Course Goal: To convey how to complete a basic clinical evaluation of the mouth, especially as it relates to overall wellness and the development of systemic illness, and to present typical treatment options and care planning guidelines for restoration and maintenance of good oral hygiene.

AOTA Classification Code; Category 1, Domain of OT , Activities of Daily Living.

Upon completion of this interactive course, the participant will be able to:

  • Use the MDS to determine if intervention is indicated for adverse oral conditions
  • Describe typical and atypical characteristics of hard and soft structures of the mouth
  • Name 10 systemic effects of adverse oral conditions
  • Describe the relationship between oral bacteria and aspiration pneumonia
  • Write a care plan to improve abnormal oral conditions and a care plan to maintain optimal oral conditions

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