Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Oral health among elderly people is commonly debated, and correlations between oral and general health are shown. The increase of life expectancy in our population causes changes in the need of oral health care. The requirements of performing the oral hygiene increase and cause higher demands on the staff working at the geriatric homes.
Both private and communal geriatric homes were included in this study. Two different questionnaires were distributed, one to nursing staff and one to staff managers. A geographical distribution to four big city’s; Umeå, Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö were selected.
The hypothesis is that the knowledge of the daily needs of oral care for elderly people among geriatric nursing staff and the manager, are insufficient and more education are needed. Results do not differ when comparing private and municipal management.
Nursing assistants indicated that their basic education included none or minor theoretical knowledge (61 %) and practical training in oral care (67 %). Part of the staff (30%) felt that they needed more education to help the residents with the daily oral care. Half of the staff members answered that they had not received any in-service education in oral health. The results did not differ comparing private and municipal geriatric homes.
Conclusions of this study are that it is common that caretakers in geriatric homes are in need of assistance when performing daily oral care. The staffs appear to be well aware of the fact that maintaining a good oral health is of big importance. More education about oral health are both wanted and needed.