January 12, 2016
by Kahaliah Richards
As of 2015, for the first time, Canada has more people over the age of 65 than under 15. The age group that now encompasses the boomer generation – 50 to 69 – makes up 27 per cent of the population, compared with 18 per cent in that age group two decades ago. The number of people over 65, the traditional retirement age in this country, make up 16 per cent of the population – double their proportion in 1971.
One consequence of this shift to an older population, is multiple chronic diseases — “co-morbidities” as they are called. Older Boomers are taking on average 5 prescription medications daily, with about 1 in 3 taking insulin for Type 2 diabetes.
In Canada, we all like to think that these drugs are free, just like going to the doctor or the Emergency Room.
Sorry, this is not the case when it comes to insulin. The injection needles cost your older patient about $45 per month in Ontario.
That is roughly the cost of a dental cleaning every 3 months.
So for those on fixed incomes, guess what these patients will do? Visit the dentist or buy some more needles. You get the picture.
Now, I hear you saying to yourself that these folks who have to buy the needles also pay for Internet and cell phones. So does this trade-off between the needles and cleaning hold water?
I think so. Most folks have a budget for healthcare, for transportation, for heating, etc. We tend to budget by using “baskets”. The needles are in the same basket as a dental cleaning.
All of which to say, a dental cleaning may not be sufficiently compelling or “essential” to keep its place in the healthcare budget, when other healthcare costs are escalating. Have a look at your waiting room.
It is now time to convince your patients why oral health prevention is SO important.
For more information, please visit:
By: Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners in Prevention – http://partnersinprevention.ca/
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