Mom-and-pop nursing homes are quickly becoming a thing of the past. As more elderly individuals require specialized care, larger corporations are looking upon the nursing home industry with dollar signs in their eyes. Consequently, lending to their size, these corporations possess a significant amount of funds for the sole purpose of investing in larger-scale investment opportunities. Gradually, individual homes are closing their doors, opening up their location so that corporations can expand in order to accommodate as many individuals as possible.
There is nothing inherently wrong with creating a more spacious facility that can offer up more rooms to seniors in need of care than a mom-and-pop nursing home would have available, but these more spacious facilities are being treated more like businesses than they are as places to serve.
There are two major components that are being sacrificed as the number of smaller nursing homes begins to dwindle: personalization and quality of care.
As nursing home facilities are expanding, it seems that the number of nurses on staff aren’t increasing at quite the same rate. In an attempt to save money, the quality of care is being compromised, specifically as it pertains to oral care. Despite their qualifications, nursing home staff are not certified to act as dentists. Even simple tasks such as brushing or flossing a resident’s teeth are typically abandoned, replaced by more time-sensitive care, including medication delegation and hygiene practices like bathing and diaper changes.
It is estimated that 70-80 percent of care provided to nursing home residents in North America is through care aides that have no formal training. Depending on the state of the resident’s teeth, they require a personalized approach to care. Some residents have a fair amount of their natural teeth left, some have bridges or other dental fixtures, while others have only dentures. Despite the connection between oral health and overall health, nursing home residents are still exposed to sub-par care due to a lack of intervention from the corporation who runs the nursing home.
Nursing home staff have been exposed using their fingers to clean teeth instead of a toothbrush, using improper tools necessary for oral hygiene, failing to examine the inside of a resident’s mouth, or refusing to remove food particles from between teeth. These methods of poor oral hygiene quickly diminish the quality of life for the resident, exposing them to preventable suffering, and increases the likelihood of them developing pneumonia, being malnourished, and ultimately stealing years from their life.
We recognize the issues affecting larger nursing home facilities that are hidden from the public’s eye. That is why our dentists specialize in providing comprehensive care to residents who reside in assisted living facilities only. Onsite Dentists Of Texas steps in to provide care for residents where nursing home aides are unqualified to do so. Not only will seniors have access to the care they deserve to ensure they have the highest quality of life, it will also remove the brunt of weight from the shoulders of staff who are overwhelmed with the high demand of work they are responsible for.