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Opinion

Long-term care changes must support greater resident access to oral health services

By Ondina Love       

As the federal government begins to set standards for long-term care, it must consider developing national oral healthcare standards for seniors living in these facilities.

Master Cpl. Véronique Blouin-Lepage, who is a dental technician with the Valcartier Detachment, pictured in May 2020, helps a resident at the Centre d'hébergement Nazaire-Piché during Operation Laser in Montreal. National standards to improve support for seniors should pay attention to oral health, writes Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. Photograph courtesy of DND/ Aviator Zamir Muminiar

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every Canadian, but has had a particular effect on seniors living in long-term care facilities. The Canadian Institute for Health Information reports these homes have seen nearly one-fifth of all confirmed cases, and have been associated with 80 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada. The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that Canada for too long has ignored senior’s care. In response, the Minister of Health has been charged with creating new national standards to improve support for seniors. 

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