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Oral Health is a Priority Among Today’s Seniors

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Oral Health is a Priority Among Today’s Seniors

 

Clearfield, PA  -- Pennsylvania has 164 Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSA), meeting only 39% of the dental need in the Commonwealth, based on a 5000-to-1 population to dentist ratio.  Workforce distribution disparities contribute to the access to care crisis, not just in Pennsylvania, but across the United States.  In addition, many of our frail elders are unable to secure transportation for dental visits or pay for adequate dental care.  Likewise, dental care coverage is limited or non-existent via Medicare and/or Medicaid.

It’s no wonder oral health among seniors is a major public health concern.  To meet this need in Clearfield County, the CCAAA has developed and packaged Oral Health Kits which include toothbrushes, toothpaste, denture tablets and oral health educational material.  15,000 of these packets have been prepared this summer and will be distributed to area seniors on a quarterly basis through the Agency’s Meals on Wheels Program and Centers for Active Living.  These packets were made possible by generous donations from our community to meet the needs of older adults, and, as a direct result of that support, will provide the tools older adults need to improve their oral health and dental issue prevention.  Anyone interested in learning more about this county-wide initiative, or, who is seeking assistance with dental coverage via Medicare, is encouraged to contact the Agency at 814-765-2696.

Picture:  Standing, left to right, Ethen Tarner (COO, CCAAA), Rosemary Gillespie (volunteer), and Lindsey Mays (volunteer)

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Programs and services of the Agency are funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Mature Resources Foundation and local and consumer contributions.

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