Dental Health for Seniors

Dental health is important for everyone at all ages, but especially for seniors. Help at Home would like to bring to your attention to some common conditions for older adults and present you with information on how to protect your aging loved one from potential problems.

Older teeth are susceptible to tooth or root decay, so brushing and flossing twice daily is vital. Teeth are more vulnerable to decay at the gum line or near fillings, so be sure to choose a toothpaste with fluoride to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Some aging seniors may need assistance with their dental health and hygiene routine, and our licensed Home Health Aides are happy to provide help.

Special consideration for dental health is in order for seniors for another reason. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a side effect associated with a number of medications. Seniors who are taking prescription medications should be especially aware of this, as dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Periodontal disease is also a risk for seniors, as it has been shown to be linked to other health issues like heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, and diabetes. If your aging loved one has health conditions that put them at risk for periodontal disease, taking extra care to stick to a good oral hygiene routine is in order. This includes regular cleanings and dental checkups in addition to brushing and flossing.

As seniors age, they don’t have to lose their beautiful, healthy smile. As your loved one gets older however, their ability to carry out daily tasks like brushing and flossing may decline. Seniors may not be able to drive themselves to the dentist. Help at Home is here to assist you and your family with taking care of your aging loved one. Contact us to learn more about senior well-being and our in-home care services.

Joyce Berk, RN, BSN, MSN

Administrator at Help at Home Homecare
Joyce Berk, RN, BSN, MSN has over 30 years of experience in health care administration, with 26 years dedicated to clinical and financial oversight of various home health organizations, including Medicare, hospice and private operations. After beginning her home health career with private home health care in Sarasota, Joyce served as Vice President and the Chief Operations Officer for a multi-site, multi-state, Medicare and Private home health organization in regions of the US. She then became Vice President of Clinical Operations of one of the country’s largest hospice operations located in the Tampa area. Prior to leading Help At Home’s private initiative, Joyce initiated multi-site start-up home care operations, ensuring regulatory compliance and licensure, with a strong focus on customer service. Most recently, she held the position of Chief Compliance Officer with concentration on quality improvement of a large Florida based Medicare multi-site organization.

Joyce received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio State University and her Master’s in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. There, she a assumed a faculty and administrative role and later received Hospice Administrator Certification. Her educational background, years of broad-based home care leadership with emphasis on continual improvement and customer service qualifies her to lead Help At Home Homecare in becoming an exceptional provider of private home care services in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.

Joyce lives in Sarasota with her husband, has three grown daughters and seven grandchildren.

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