living your best to the end

Mouth Care improves Quality of Life

Oral Care: in eldercare, the mouth is often overlooked Our mouths – so important for so many reasons – seems overlooked, dismissed, ignored in its role in overall health and well-being. Consider the work we expect from our mouth: in addition to the vital task of eating (and all that’s required from lips, tongue, teeth, cheeks) there’s the impact of talking, coughing, sneezing and even breathing when the nose isn’t properly working. Anyone’s who’s had a toothache, cold sore, tender gums, dry mouth, canker sore knows no matter the state of health of the rest of you – the buck stops at the mouth. Add age, medications and their side effects, chronic conditions, mental decline and there’s a world of trouble brewing. Even health care professionals need to be mindful of oral care. From the journal, Impacted Nurse: “Just yesterday we had an elderly lady who we just could not get to keep any oxygen masks or nasal prongs on. She just kept swiping across her face and knocking them off. After trying everything, I though as a long shot I would give her some mouth-care. Her mouth was dry as Mars. And guess what? After a freshen up and a little Vaseline to her lips she slept like a baby.” For many, mouth problems are tied to conditions: (Also from Impacted Nurse)“There are groups of patients that are predisposed to mouth hygiene problems such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (due to persistent mouth breathing), patients that are nil by mouth and those with physical injury or intellectual impairment. Oncology patients: cytotoxic drugs or radiotherapy can cause...