Going to the dentist is a crucial part of staying healthy. But for many senior citizens, it can be stressful and expensive. Thanks to the Senior Services for South Sound, dental care is available at little or no cost.
The CDC reports that “Many older Americans do not have dental insurance because they lost their benefits upon retirement and the federal Medicare program does not cover routine dental care.” This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, or chronic disease.
“Senior Services for South Sound’s Dental Health Fund for Seniors is made possible by the generosity of the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound’s Katherine Hayes Memorial Fund,” says Molly Noble, supportive services director. “The program is available throughout the year, and the funds of this program are specifically for preventative care and dental hygiene cleanings.”
Monies are broken down into emergency and non-emergency pools with an annual limit per person. Services are performed either in local senior centers or with a mobile hygienist for the homebound.
“Dental care is a vital component of having or striving for overall good health,” explains Noble. “Poor dental hygiene can be especially common for low-income seniors who are home bound, living in long-term care settings, undergoing lengthy hospital stays, or who simply cannot afford to pay.”
By offering mobile care, stress is greatly reduced. “People with other types of medical challenges can particularly benefit from mobile dental hygiene services,” says Noble. “Some of these individuals include those with mobility issues, extreme anxiety, agoraphobia, and paralysis. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia can also benefit from receiving home dental care at home, as keeping these individuals at home helps them feel more comfortable and minimizes confusion, disorientation, and challenging behaviors.”
To find out more about the program or apply for service, call 360-586-6181, extension 120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.