Untreated oral disease can have a devastating impact upon frail elders.
Yet significant financial and physical barriers prevent many from getting the care they need. (See related tip sheet, “Getting dental care to elders in nursing homes.”)
The lack of dental services is particularly acute for many of the 1.4 million seniors living in nursing homes, placing them at increased risk for everything from pain and tooth loss to poor nutrition and serious, even fatal infections.
“Brushing teeth becomes a life or death thing for many patients,” dentist Gregory Folse, D.D.S., told AHCJ members who joined a recent webinar dedicated to exploring the challenges of getting care to vulnerable nursing home residents.
Folse, whose innovative mobile dental practice is dedicated to getting care to more than two dozen Louisiana nursing homes, spends his days addressing those challenges.
It turns out his efforts are deeply appreciated in his community of Lafayette, La. Folse was recently named Dentist of the Year by a local nonprofit.
Bill Decker, community editor of The Advertiser in Lafayette used the award as a peg to create a feature story in words and video about Folse and the people he serves. Continue reading