The dental health needs of low-income older adults have been neglected, especially in California, which ranks 30th among the states in dental care for older adults. Yet, oral health is a critical aspect of overall health for older adults. Untreated dental decay and tooth loss can not only lead to pain and difficulty eating, but also the worsening of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

The oral health needs of low-income older Californians is a new area of advocacy for Justice in Aging, launched in July 2016.

This new project aims to improve oral health for older adults through educating local advocates and service providers on how they can help the older adults they serve access oral health care. We will also strongly advocate for both state and national policy changes to improve oral health care for California’s low-income older adults.

To kick off the new project, we released an issue brief and partnered with the Center for Oral Health in a webinar summarizing the unique needs of older adults.

Beyond Lip Service is a Justice in Aging blog series featuring work to improve oral health for older adults, in California and across the nation.
February 28, 2017 in CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, Oral Health, REPORTS

Fact Sheet: Denti-Cal for Adults

In May 2014, dental benefits were partially restored for adult Medi-Cal recipients and are delivered through the Denti-Cal program. Unfortunately, many Medi-Cal recipients do not... Read More
January 25, 2017 in BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Oral Health

Dental Coverage for Older Adults Should be Coordinated and Evidence-Based

Maddie suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract leading to significant weight loss, fatigue, and pain.[1] Recently, Maddie’s…

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November 7, 2016 in BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Oral Health

Systemic Denti-Cal Problems Increase Financial Hardship for Older Adults

Linda—a low-income older adult living in Los Angeles County—applied for a dental credit card after being advised to do so by her dentist. Her dentist’s…

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