Keeping Canada’s Aging Population Healthy: Resources for Dental Hygienists

As primary health care providers with expertise in oral health promotion and disease prevention, dental hygienists play a key role in providing baseline and ongoing oral assessments for seniors, developing individualized daily oral care plans and making appropriate referrals when indicated. They can also play an important part in the promotion of oral health within a long-term or residential care setting by providing education to those supporting seniors. This inventory of high-quality Canadian resources has been assembled in consultation with CDHA’s Independent Practice Advisory Committee (IPAC), composed of independent practice members from across Canada. It is intended as a guide only. It is the responsibility of the dental hygienist to confirm all regulations and requirements with their regulatory authority.

Clinical and Business Resources

BCDHA’s Dental Hygienists’ Guide to Independent Practice in Residential Care

This 80-page guide contains helpful information on the many aspects to consider regarding oral health care program planning and operating a residential care-focused business. The resource includes guidelines for complete process of care in a residential care setting, as well as sample contracts and letters which can be tailored according to the individual dental hygienist’s and facility’s legal requirements. Comprehensive appendices include, but are not limited to, a sample letter of introduction for the facility, service proposal and agreement, dental communications page, and policy and procedures manual. All forms and letters are also available as PDF documents by request. CDHA members receive this guide at a reduced price of $99.00 through BCDHA.

For more information:
CDHA members may purchase this guide by emailing info@bcdha.bc.ca or by phoning 604-415-4559.

Professional Development Resources for the Dental Hygienist

As regulated health professionals, dental hygienists maintain competence through a commitment to lifelong learning. The following section highlights professional development resources, vetted by CDHA’s independent practice advisory committee, which support dental hygienists in their pursuit of knowledge

Advanced Gerontological Education: Gentle Persuasive Approaches

Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA®) is an innovative dementia care education curriculum based on a person-centered care approach. One of the only evidence-based curricula available in Canada, GPA is delivered by certified coaches who guide participants in using emotional, environmental, and interpersonal communication strategies to recognize, prevent, and defuse responsive behaviours. GPA Basics Education also includes respectful self-protective and gentle redirection techniques for use in situations of risk to the provider. Designed for interdisciplinary point-of-care staff across health care sectors, GPA Basics Education consists of four modules presented over a 7.5-hour day. It is available across Canada, and is a prerequisite for the Geriatric Certificate Program at McMaster University.

For more information:
www.ageinc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/GPA_FACT-SHEET_3RD-EDITION.pdf

How to apply:
www.ageinc.ca/gpaadp/access-gpa/

McMaster University: Geriatric Certificate Program

The Geriatric Certificate Program (GCP) offered by McMaster University consists of educational programming that is aimed at improving quality of care for our aging population. Under the Regulated Health Professional Stream, the GCP certificate consists of 5 required courses and 2 elective courses that must be taken over a 3-year period in order to fulfill the certificate program requirements. GCP offers a McMaster University Certificate of Continuing Health Sciences Education upon successful completion of the program.

For more information:
www.geriatriccp.ca

How to apply:
www.geriatriccp.ca/streamswww.geriatriccp.ca/streams

Dental Hygienists in the Role of Knowledge Broker: Health Promotion and Education to Caregivers

Staff of long-term care facilities, dental hygienists, and other oral health care providers ideally work collaboratively to develop constructive relationships and processes to advocate for and enable the provision of appropriate care for the oral health needs of the residents. The following resources have been selected to support dental hygienists while working in this capacity.

Dalhousie University: Brushing Up Program

Developed by the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University, this community resource provides educational information and support to caregivers. User-friendly and accessible materials (in print, video, and web-based formats) help to educate and support professional and family caregivers on how to assist an individual with their daily oral care needs.

For more information:
www.dal.ca/dept/hpi/community-reports/oral-care-uptake.html

Halton Region Health Department: Halton Oral Health Outreach Program

This robust community health resource is targeted to long-term care homes, hospitals, community nursing agencies, dental professionals, and both professional and family caregivers. It includes assessment tools, resources to support planning a community oral health program, information on oral conditions, oral care with a chronic illness, and general oral care for adults.

For more information:
www.halton.ca/cms/one.aspx

McMaster University: Regional Geriatric Program central

The Regional Geriatric Program central (RGPc) at McMaster University has developed resources to assist dental hygienists in implementing and facilitating oral hygiene care programs in long-term, residential or home care settings.

For more information:
www.rgpc.ca/resources/

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario: Nursing Best Practice Guideline on Oral Health

Published by the RNAO, this resource contains best practice guidelines for nursing practitioners working with vulnerable adults requiring assistance with their oral hygiene care. This resource can be referenced by dental hygienists while in a role of facilitator, when implementing and promoting clinical standards and best practice guidelines in long-term care facilities or directly with point-of-care personnel.

For more information:
rnao.ca/sites/rnao-ca/files/Oral_Health_-_Nursing_Assessment_and_Interventions.pdf

University of Manitoba: Centre for Community Oral Health

The University of Manitoba’s Health Promotion Unit (HPU) has developed a variety of short didactic video clips to demonstrate how to provide mouth care for dependent adults. Using the video clips, dental hygienists can improve their skills in effectively providing mouth care, and share this information with other point-of-care providers and family caregivers.

For more information:
umanitoba.ca/faculties/health_sciences/dentistry/ccoh/ccoh_longTermCareFacts.html

If you have resources that you think should be included here, please send the information to aacker@cdha.ca. This page will be updated regularly, so please check back periodically.