Senior Care Resources and Information in Charlotte, NC

Oral Care Should Be Part of the Recovery Process

Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates in Charlotte NC

Reduce Hospital Readmission RatesOctober 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.


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Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith, Founder and Co-Owner of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte is hands on with every detail of Golden Heart’s business. Natalie emigrated to the United States from Ukraine. Coming to this country, she did not know a word of English and her and her mother had virtually nothing. Through hard-work and determination as well as through the assistance of social organizations, Natalie learned English, educated herself and grew to be a business owner. It was while working as a caregiver and putting herself through school that Natalie came to love working for, and with, seniors. It was this passion for taking care of others (as well as her past experience where she herself was on the receiving end of help) that led Natalie to always want to open her own home care agency. She takes a tremendous amount of pride in providing quality care to the clients of Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. As such, she uses her corporate experience in management to oversee the selection and hiring of caregivers for Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. In addition, Natalie continuously engages with clients to ensure they are more than satisfied with the care they receive and constantly looks for ways to improve herself and her company.