Oral Health Care in Home Care Service – Personnels’ Perspective
Elderly nowadays stay longer in their own home. This raises the standards on home care service to contribute to the maintenance of elderly’s general and oral health. Our objective is therefore to explore attitudes about how home care workers view oral health care and the importance of good oral health for elderly clients. 8 subjects (22 to 61 years of age) were selected for the study working in home care service, which all gave their informed consent. Semi-structured interviews were performed, recorded and transcribed verbatim before evaluation, using qualitative content analysis. From the interviews, a result of total 19 categories and 41 subcategories were assigned which were the bases for the 10 evolved themes. The four themes best representing the study’s purpose are more thoroughly described. At a low level of abstraction attitudes such as reminding the clients to brush their teeth and importance of practical help with oral hygiene are expressed as important. Difficulties occur in forms of lack of accessibility to the oral cavity and the client’s unwillingness to co-operate. The participants also require better contact with dental services. On the emotional level, feelings such as alienation, powerlessness and fear of breaking the client’s integrity occur along with feelings of distantness and lack of interest. This leading to a conclusion of a low level of awareness together with lack of knowledge about oral care and oral health is seen among personnel in home care service, while the personnel themselves are requesting more knowledge and better contact with dental health care services.
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