Each fall, policymakers and advocates come together for the Washington State Senior Lobby conference, this year held on October 21. As a member of the Senior Lobby, WDS Foundation is a sponsor of the conference and will host a booth providing resources and information to highlight the importance of good oral health for seniors.
Seniors with oral disease often have difficulty eating and live in pain, which diminishes quality of life. Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide dental coverage and Medicaid dental coverage for seniors in Washington has been drastically reduced. Only residents of nursing homes and recipients of certain long-term care services receive dental coverage. This coverage is essential and needs to be continued. In addition, it is important that dental coverage through Medicaid be reinstated for all low-income seniors, especially those with diabetes.
WDS Foundation has also launched a campaign, Mind Your Mouth, to raise awareness among seniors and healthcare providers about the importance of seniors’ oral health. Visit SeniorsOralHealth.org to learn more.
Preventing oral disease will yield long-term health benefits for individuals and long-term cost savings for taxpayers.