Transforming Oral health for Residents in Care Homes (TORCH)
The Public Health and Health Services Research Group is undertaking a programme of work that seeks to improve the oral health and quality of life of older people living in Scottish care homes. Older people living in care homes are at higher risk of oral health problems and related conditions because of high levels of dependency and dementia, compared to their peers living independently. Many dependent older people living in care homes rely on staff to maintain their oral health. The Caring for Smiles national oral health promotion programme provides training and support for care home management and staff to help them deliver daily oral health care effectively and confidently to the people they look after. We are working closely with NHS colleagues to ensure that theory-based evidence supports the implementation and roll-out of the Caring for Smiles programme across all Health Boards in Scotland.
Ultimately, we plan to use our results to inform the design and evaluation of a package of support that will ensure that Caring for Smiles results in long-term, sustainable improvements in oral health and quality of life for older people in care homes.