The Primary Health Care Corporation’s (PHCC) Preventive Health Directorate launched the pilot phase of Ejlal Home Oral Health Care Services Programme for Elderly from June in co-operation with the Home Health Care Services Department, under the supervision of Dr Hamad al-Mudahka, executive director of Preventive Health, and led by Dr Najat al-Yafei, manager of Oral Health Promotion and Prevention.
Dr al- Mudahka explained that the programme offers special services to establish a system to screen home healthcare patients at their homes and determine their oral health status, to improve oral health awareness and knowledge among the elderly and their caregivers, and to refer patients in need for dental management to the appropriate level of care.
Through this programme, the senior’s oral health is assessed, as some of them are in the advanced stage of the disease and cannot talk to others about their pain.
Additionally, the assessment helps identify cases who need dental treatment or those who may be diagnosed to have various oral diseases, such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and mouth ulcers. The assessment also helps with early detection of oral cancer cases.
Dr al-Mudahka noted these services will be provided at home for all seniors registered in PHCC’s Home Health Care Services, where Ejlal staff will visit the senior’s home with a mobile dental unit and dental instruments to conduct a comprehensive oral assessment
The oral assessment results will then be discussed with the elderly, their families, or their caregivers, where the focus will be placed on enhancing oral hygiene skills and educating the elderly, their families, or their caregivers on how to maintain good oral and dental hygiene.
He said that the nurse lead from Home Health Services will obtain the verbal consent from the elderly or their caregivers and the Ejlal team will review the patient’s health condition, and call to confirm the appointment’s date and time. On the day of the visit, a signature on consent will be obtained from the elderly or their caregivers.
Dr al-Mudahka concluded: “The pilot phase is for a period of three weeks, then after discussing the results and identifying the obstacles, if any, the implementation phase will begin.”
The service is offered to establish a system to screen home healthcare patients.