Oral Health and Medication Management Seminar
This project focused on integrating oral health content (especially information related to dry mouth and chronic diseases) into existing and ongoing medication management seminars. Medication management seminars are conducted throughout the year by nursing staff for groups ranging from 10 to 20 people, in various venues such as senior nutrition sites and senior centers, assisted living facilities, and other community group settings. Staff adapted a presentation from another project example in the Oral Health Toolkit and integrated additional content into existing medication management seminars.
Submitted by: Barbie Rasmussen, Director, Planning & Program Management, Olympic Area Agency on Aging
Project Goal(s) and Objective(s)
The goal of this project was to integrate oral health content (especially information related to dry mouth and chronic diseases) into ongoing medication management seminars.
O3A titled their presentation “Good oral health contributes to good overall physical health.” The O3A nursing staff then integrated the new oral health content (especially related to dry mouth and chronic diseases) with the existing medication management content and presented 29 seminars to 420 participants. It was relatively simple to integrate information on oral health into this ongoing activity.
This project is part of a broader initiative by O3A to integrate oral health into a variety of community outreach and education efforts within a four-county region, including Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, and Pacific counties. These outreach activities focused on healthy aging are supported by funding from the federal Older Americans Act.
Successes and Challenges
A key success was realizing that it was relatively simple to integrate information on oral health into this ongoing activity.
The challenge was finding champions to make sure it all happens – staff (i.e., a nursing director) to do the presentations and a champion for ongoing activities. This lesson extends to other health messages beyond oral health.
It is critical to have existing materials (like those found in the Oral Health Toolkit). It would have been a challenge if there was not a presentation already developed and available for us to adapt for our purposes. It would have taken someone a lot of time to put together the presentation from scratch. Thus, the lesson is that for success of this kind of project, you need already vetted messages and resources. Resources that organizations can take, customize, and go forth.
PowerPoint presentation – Good Oral Health Contributes to Good Overall Physical Health
Integrating oral health content and messages into appropriate, ongoing public education activities will be sustained. O3A plans to periodically update the oral health presentation using information available on the Washington Dental Service Foundation website, www.seniororalhealth.org.