Importance of Dental and Vision 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.
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.