Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates in Charlotte NC
October is National Dental Hygiene Month and when you’re talking about hospital readmission rates, how to reduce them, and the overall recovery process for seniors, oral care may not be at the top of anyone’s list.
It should be.
If a person has been hospitalized, whether it was due to a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, aneurysm, major surgery, injuries sustained in an accident, or for any other reason, they will probably be spending the majority of their days in a hospital bed. They may only get up to use the facilities, brush their teeth, and take care of other activities of that nature.
With some support and assistance, they might get to the sink to take out their dentures, brush their teeth quickly, or just wash their face. If they don’t pay attention to proper oral care, what could happen?
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to oral care is the growth of bacteria and other germs in the mouth. If the gums become infected, such as sores developing, the bacteria and other germs in the mouth can actually enter the bloodstream. This can provide those germs and bacteria a straight line to the heart.
When that happens, the risk of a heart attack can increase dramatically. That’s why it’s absolutely essential people pay attention to their oral health and dental hygiene, even if they’re in their 70s, 80s, or 90s and have recently been hospitalized.
Those seniors are going to go through a lengthy recovery process. That might include physical therapy, getting proper rest, changing their diet, and relying on proper support services. When they’re worn out at the end of the day, it’s far too easy to simply take out dentures or ignore oral care altogether. Yet, it should be at the top of everyone’s list.
Even for seniors who don’t have any of their original teeth left, brushing their gums and tongue is a great way to help reduce bad breath (halitosis) and kill a lot of the germs and bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria in the mouth is essential for the digestive process, but too much can be dangerous, as noted previously.
If someone is reluctant, hesitant, or stubbornly against taking care of their oral health following a hospital stay, a family member might not be able to convince them to work harder at it. It may be best to sit down and talk about hiring a home care aide to help out. The more experience a home care provider has, the easier it might be for him or her to convince the senior to take care of their dental hygiene properly.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN CHARLOTTE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF CHARLOTTE. (704) 246-5806.
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