Opinion Poll Shows Oral Health Top Health Concern for Caregivers

November is National Family Caregiver’s Month, and Oral Health America‘s 2011 Public Opinion Survey reveals that oral health is a top concern among individuals who provide care for a senior.

The survey was conducted along with research group Harris Interactive and questioned 729 people who care for an older adult (a person of age 65 or older).  What it revealed is that oral health is considered to be of high importance to most caregivers.

Perceived Important Care Needs Among Caregivers for Older Adults. Percentages indicate number of respondents indicating option is "Important. Results: 74% eating and nutrition, 60% chronic disease, 60% exercising regularly, 59% preventing falls, 42% daily oral care routine, 22% tobacco cessation.

Summary of Findings

  • Respondents expressed that the top two health care needs of the older adult in their life were healthy eating and chronic disease issues, both of which are closely tied to oral health.·
  • Respondents expressed that the top two oral health knowledge gaps for older adults are gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Women (47%) and African American (57%) respondents are more likely to say oral health is an important concern to them in the care of the older person in their life.