Importance of Dental, Hearing, Vision and Podiatry Services
When people consider health conditions that may lead to disability and death, they usually think of cancer or heart disease. Rarely do they consider how essential good dental health is for quality of life in the later years. An example: if gum disease is not diagnosed and treated in time, it can lead to receding gums, bone damage, loss of teeth, and can increase the risk of other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. According to a 2013 New York Times article, researchers have linked oral bacteria to the occurrence of hospital-acquired pneumonia. Roughly one in 10 deaths from pneumonia in nursing facilities could be prevented by improving oral hygiene.
Hearing and the benefit of hearing aids
A significant percentage of nursing home residents have varying amounts of hearing loss. As most of us know one’s enjoyment of life can be impacted by the inability to hear clearly.
Most people do not know, however, of another possible result of hearing loss. A recent study conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University of Medicine in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging found that “those with severe hearing loss were five (5) times more likely to develop cognitive impairment, and that even mid hearing loss doubled one’s risk.”
Removing ear impacted ear wax and receiving quality Siemens Hearing Aids and/or Assistive Listening devices can make a world of difference for a resident.
The danger of poor vision
There is a correlation between vision loss and falls. Falls are a major cause of injury among the older population. There are roughly 2.5 million individuals, 65 years and older, treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries yearly. Having severe visual impairment in just one eye and mild or moderate visual impairment in the other eye doubles the risk of falls. Glaucoma itself increases the risk of falls four-fold.
Testing, various treatments and glasses that provide corrected vision may protect the resident from a serious and painful fall.
Elderly commonly have foot and/or toe problems. Those with diabetes are roughly 25% of your participants. The lack of circulation in diabetes can result in gangrene and amputations. To have a single toe amputated averages a cost of $40,000 in hospital and surgery bills, setting aside the pain and discomfort the participant with diabetes will endure.