Caregiver perceptions of oral health in residential aged care facilities
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Objective: The objective was to investigate perceptions of oral health of caregivers in residential aged care facilities located on the Gold Coast, South East Queensland. Methods: A randomly selected sample of 41 caregivers from 8 aged care facilities were interviewed by way of a structured questionnaire designed to determine their perception of oral health in their aged care facility. Results: The majority (61%, n=25) of caregivers had obtained their highest educational qualification more than 3 years ago. Oral health was included in the training of 71% (n=29) of caregivers and 63% (n=26) of them were of the opinion that they have received adequate training to provide adequate oral care for residents. The majority (95%, n=39) considered oral health as a part of general health and 86% (n=35) were of the opinion that oral health is a high priority to residents. Nearly half (49%, n=20) of caregivers didn't visit a dentist at least once a year. Sixty nine percent (n=25) of the caregivers considered the continuing education in oral health as a high priority and half of them (n=20) considered the loss of teeth as part of the normal ageing process. Conclusion: Regular continuing education programs on oral care are required for caregivers employed in residential aged care facilities. Oral health training for caregivers is strongly recommended to help improving oral health related quality of life of residents.
87th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR
Dentistry not elsewhere classified