Helping people with dementia go to the dentist
Not many people enjoy going to the dentist but it can be a real problem for people with communication disabilities.
Recently I wrote about using Talking Mats in a care home to find out the views of an elderly lady with communication difficulties and dementia who had lost her dentures. click here. Using the mats, she was able to tell us that she was unwilling to open her mouth but thought that if someone was with her she might manage better.
Following our Talking Mats conversation the Care Home arranged an appointment with the dentist for the following week. Her son went back over what we had talked about just before the visit. She managed fine, opened her mouth and her treatment was carried out successfully.
Dentistry is a huge problem for many people, but the impact of not being able to cooperate can have serious implications for a person’s appearance, comfort, quality of life and health.
In preparing for a visit to the dentist it’s important that the person understands both what is going to happen and why its happening. Talking Mats is a visual tool that can help the person with communication difficulties both with understanding and also expressing their views. In this way the family and carers can find ways to reassure the person and support them to get the appropriate dental treatment.
Please let us know your thoughts on supporting people in similar situations.