ACE.S triptych

Oral Health for the Older Adult Living in the Community

Oral health promotion for older adults living in the community is directed at interventions and services to prolong functional status. Students will determine older adults’ oral health needs and barriers to receiving oral health care in the community using the ACE.S framework.

Oral Health for the Older Adult Living in the Community

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Assess oral health needs of older adults living independently in the community.
  • Determine barriers for older adults to obtain oral health care in the community 
  • Describe the role of the nurse when providing oral health care to older adults in the community.

Learner Prework

This teaching strategy incorporates the ACE.S Essential Nursing Actions: Assess Function and Expectations, Coordinate and Manage Care and Make Situational Decisions. This teaching strategy enhances the students’ NLN Education Competencies of Nursing Judgment, Human Flourishing, Professional Identity, and Spirit of Inquiry.

Have students review the following prior to implementing this teaching strategy:
Smiles for Life Geriatric Module

Ask the students to write a log or summary of potential health related risk factors which result from changes in food taste with older adults.

Suggested Learning Activities

Interviewing Older Adult in the Community

For this teaching strategy, students will interview an older adult in the community to determine the individual’s oral health needs. Students will assess the community in which older adult live to determine oral health resources available.

Community Interview

Faculty will provide students with the Oral Health Older Person Interview Guide and the Oral Health Community Assessment Guide.

Suggested Reading

Hunt, R. (2012). Health promotion and disease and injury prevention for older adults. Introduction to Community-Based Nursing. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Aging Publications 
The above link provides information and statistics regarding chronic disease and wellbeing of older adults.

Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being (Older Americans 2010) 
provides a comprehensive picture of our older population’s health and well-being. It is the fifth chartbook prepared by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (Forum).

The Try This:® Series from the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (HIGN) at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing contains many evidence-based assessment tools. The tool, an article about using the tool, and a video illustrating the use of the tool, are all available for your use.

Author Information

Erin Hartnett, DNP, APRN-BC, CPNP
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
New York, NY