Enriching Lives ... One at a Time
We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity
Too many low-resource and vulnerable older adults do not receive any significant dental care and suffer from general poor dental health, including a full range of dental maladies including periodontal disease, dental caries (tooth decay) and abscess. Good oral care is essential to overall health and wellbeing.
Even where care can be afforded, the logistics impediments quite often renders care unattainable. Many can’t get to a dental office because the logistics of physically transporting them to a dental office and other in-office impediments, are arduous and overwhelming. There is ample data and analysis of the need at the federal, state and local levels. In one Northern Virginia county, a survey of long-term care residence centers demonstrated that only a little more than ten percent (10%) of residents had received any dental care. In Virginia, very limited Medicaid benefits exist for dental care. Medicare does not have a dental care benefit.
Key Impacts of Project ADAPT
Improved oral health and hygiene
Lessened pain and discomfort
Improved ability to eat and enjoy food
Improved overall health
Improved quality of life and wellbeing
More About Project ADAPT
We began our oral care and treatment efforts with a pilot project in Northern Virginia designed to test different ways of providing care and treatment for this population. We coordinated with local dental practices, long-term care facility staff, nonprofit partners and governmental agencies to work through the financial and logistical “red tape” impediments to care. We learned that while the financial costs of care are the biggest challenge, the logistical challenges are a “close second” and too often result in no dental care treatment at all. We set out to change this condition.
✓ Project ADAPT is focused on overcoming financial and logistical impediments, ensuring that patients have access to care and receive care – comprehensive care. We work to identify sources of income to pay for dental care. We also work to identify best approaches for care – dental office visits, facility-based and at home treatment, oral hygiene education and follow up.
It is clear that new ways and methods are needed to garner dental care resources for the older adult population. As such, we believe that our initiative is innovative – adapting and adjusting to the challenges older adults face to keep themselves healthy. Project ADAPT emphasizes coordination, collaboration and employment of system change as needed.
✓ Project ADAPT is sustainable in that it utilizes available payment sources – grants and donations, insurance reimbursement, and/or family pay. It employs creative approaches to make it easier to provide treatment. For example, nursing home patients are scheduled in groups for facility-based checkups, cleaning, and treatment.
✓ Project ADAPT is not only a program but also a model for how to provide older adults access to dental care – and to make sure they receive it. We work with partners – dental practices, government agencies, nonprofits and long-term care management/staff – to identify/define patients needing care, payment options, scheduling, treatment/follow up, and to provide education/training to promote oral hygiene.
✓ Project ADAPT is designed to address what we consider to be a major “below the radar” need. Our overriding goal is to make oral care possible for many who otherwise can’t get access to it. We’re determined to make this effort work..
PROJECT ADAPT- Adult Dental Access, Prevention and Treatment
Changing No to Yes!
Our initiative and focus have helped to change thinking about the efficacy of oral care for our target group. This underlying shifting of “can’t do” to “can do” is a fundamental and so important for the success of this initiative.
Project ADAPT is an initiative focused on providing financial and logistical access to dental care and treatment to the low-income older adult population. Too many adults cannot afford and/or are unable to access this essential health care need. Additionally, many can benefit greatly from increased oral care education, literacy and practices. Project ADAPT is focused on closing these treatment and literacy gaps (by providing needed education, care and treatment) and encouraging preventive care practices and good oral hygiene.
Project ADAPT Impact