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Family and friends: supporting oral care in care homes

Jones, Rhiannon, Johnson, Ilona and Morgan, Maria ORCID: 2019. Family and friends: supporting oral care in care homes. Gerodontology 36 (3) , pp. 258-266. 10.1111/ger.12404

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Objective To consider the role of family and friends in supporting oral care. Background People who live in care homes are susceptible to oral health problems, which can be detrimental to their health and personal and social well‐being. External support from family members and friends has been indicated as being important for maintaining oral health for this vulnerable group of care home residents. Materials and methods Qualitative one‐to‐one interviews were undertaken with care home residents, in Cardiff, UK. Further interviews were undertaken with care home personnel with responsibility for oral health care in order to contextualise residents’ interview data. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach. Results A total of 26 interviews were conducted with care home residents and four interviews with care home personnel, across five care homes. Three main themes emanated from the data relating to co‐supporting oral care: supplying oral care products; accessing dental care and enabling self‐management of oral care problems. There were no spouse caregivers; family and friends acted as co‐supporters of oral care providing a link to residents’ pre‐care home lives by informing the care home personnel of their relatives’ normal routines. An overarching theme “balancing roles – maintaining the equilibrium” emerged from the data reflecting the roles that both care home personnel and family and friends had in balancing the needs, care and well‐being of the resident. Conclusion This study suggests that there are opportunities to improve oral health by providing support for family and friends of those people who are living in care, especially in relation to supplying oral care products, enabling self‐management of oral care problems and accessing dental care.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0734-0664
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2019
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 00:38

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