The neglect can lead to terrible pain for the residents. Worse, new studies suggest that this problem may be contributing to another: pneumonia, a leading killer of institutionalized older people.
Among the duties of staff, brushing teeth may rank way down the list, even though doing so is federally mandated for those who can’t do it themselves. Activities such as feeding, dressing, bathing and other ADLs tend to take priority. As a result, daily oral care is often neglected.