Reducing vulnerabilities in long-term care

Ontario has struck a commission on long-term care. The UK government did the same before the pandemic. No doubt, there will be other investigations given the terrible clustering of the pandemic in these venues. COVID-19 showed what we already knew — in the words of the Ontario government, “the system is broken”.

So if you had a recommendation on reducing vulnerabilities to disease in long-term care, what would it be?

Your idea better be readily implemented, affordable to the residents and their families, effective, and not demanding of the over-burdened nursing and medical team.

My idea is to get the long-term residents to better oral health as quickly as possible. After all, we know poor oral health is both common in these facilities and a contributor to poor general health. The scientific studies are getting clear: poor oral health can create instability in diabetes, can promote cognitive decline, can raise hypertension, and can increase the risk of stroke and other conditions.

So how can this be readily implemented? How can it be affordable and not burden the care team?

It’s simple. Set up a turnkey hygiene service to manage oral dysbiosis, the medical condition which causes poor oral health. For about a buck a day.

Sure, it’s a new model of oral healthcare. But new models are now demanded. Just ask the governments everywhere.