oral health improves overall quality of life

If you read our article, "The Importance of Senior Dental Care", you’ll know how important good oral health is to your overall quality of life. You’ll be able to chew food properly and without pain. You’ll taste what you’re chewing. You’ll reduce the likelihood of developing other health issues. And you’ll save money in the long run.

But access to regular dental care is often difficult for seniors. Medicare doesn’t cover it. Medicaid coverage is limited. Out-of-pocket expenses can be prohibitive to those on a fixed income.

Fortunately, there are organizations that can help. Here are 10 free or low cost dental care options for seniors:

1) The first place you should start is the toothwisdom.org, a site dedicated to health resources for older adults. Click on your state here and you’ll find a list of excellent resources.

The site is run by Oral Health America (OHA), “a national nonprofit based in Chicago that is dedicated to changing lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.”

2) With Eldercare Locator, a service of the Administration on Aging, you can search by state or by service (health, transportation, legal, etc.). Speak with an information specialist: 1-800-677-1116.

3) 2-1-1 Information and Referral Search is sponsored by the United Way and can connect you to services in your area. Simply dial 211.

4) PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a Medicare and Medicaidprogram that “helps people meet their health care needs in the community…” This healthcare can include dentistry.

5) The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports federally-funded health centers for those with no insurance or limited income. Many offer sliding scale (based on what you can afford) payments. Visit the site or call 1–888–275–4772.


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