The US adult population is more likely to increase significantly over the next few decades. Adults aged 65 years and above are expected to grow soon. According to the World Health Organization statistics, there is a likelihood that there will be more adults aged 60 and above in 2050, than the number of children in the entire world. The US, in particular, will lead all the other developed countries when it comes to having approximately 72 million adults aged 65 and above by 2030 and almost 84 million by the year 2050. The aging of the “baby boomers” in the US is more likely to alleviate disease rates, dependency, and more healthcare service demands. The total population of Colorado is approximately five million. According to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 1.1 million citizens in Colorado which are almost twenty-two percent of the entire population are adults who are 65 years and above. Colorado in 2030 however, is likely to experience a massive increase in the population of the older people and especially the baby boomers. The overall life expectancy according to the population census carried out in 2010 recorded highest in the counties of Larimer, Boulder, and Douglas.
Older adult dental care is of significance to me since caring for them results in the overall improvement of a nation’s life expectancy (Okuji and Lewis, 2016). However, even with the increased older adult population, there have been increased cases of development in dental conditions among adults in Columbia. Many of them are now visiting dentists more often. Adults during their aging process, tend to retain higher mean teeth number. This retention in the mean number of teeth potentially alleviates their dental desires at a point in their lives where they are unable to gain access to health care (Griffin et al., 2012). The inability to access health care may result from loss of dental coverage brought about by retirement which leads to a decline in attendant income. A decrease in, as well as dental coverage loss which had been sponsored by an organization, generally accompanies retirement. The increase in dental care needs, for a large number of aging Colorado citizens, leads to a decrease in the ability of the older people to be able to cater for themselves. Dental care many times is not covered in the health first Colorado which is a health care program sponsored by the federal government. The inability of the health first Colorado which is a form of Medicare in Colorado stands on the way of good oral health. The reason is that a vast number of the older population will fail to go for dental checkups because of their inability to fund themselves. There are detrimental consequences associated with the failure of older people to access dental cover. They are more likely to develop oral infections that may be dangerous to their overall health (Griffin et al., 2012). Families of these older people have a role in trying to help them fulfill their health care desires. This is because the policy passed by the federal government concerning health care does not allow for dental cover among the older Colorado citizens.
Being the vulnerable population, older adults in Colorado are susceptible to experiencing not only dental conditions but also other health-related issues. Similarly, an increased population of adults in Colorado has been recorded to retain an increasing number of their teeth in their entire lives. However, some of the dental conditions such as periodontal diseases, and coronal caries are associated with the retention of a higher number of teeth during aging (Tiwari, Scarbro, Bryant, and Puma, 2016). Apart from the associated dental conditions, other related diseases are more likely to arise among the older Columbian adults. Diseases such as pharyngeal cancers and oral cancer predominantly attack the older and vulnerable population. Therefore, as the community continues to age, there is likely to be an increase in the number of older individuals who will benefit from early diagnosis.
The Delta Dental of Colorado (DDCO) which focuses on the dental benefits of Colorado citizens is aimed at improving the oral health of Colorado citizens. It has successfully been promoting the benefits of having improved oral health by linking it to the overall health. However, it does not cover for several oral complications like in the cases where teeth grafting have been done to replace teeth. As adults age, they may lose their teeth from conditions like cavity which may compel them to remove the tooth or teeth with a cavity (Manski et al., 2014). Therefore, the DDCO should consider this and start providing insurance cover for such a case. It should also provide cover for the instances of drug prescription. Some of the drugs prescribed to older adults after oral check-up are expensive and unaffordable. Therefore by providing coverage on the prescribed medications, the aged adults will be in a position to obtain the drugs without incurring costs that may be too high for their affordability. Finally, the DDCO should try and cover for laboratory tests and examinations since in many instances they happen to expensive.
Griffin, S. O., Jones, J. A., Brunson, D., Griffin, P. M., & Bailey, W. D. (2012). The burden of oral disease among older adults and implications for public health priorities. American journal of public health, 102(3), 411-418.
Manski, R. J., Goodman, H. S., Reid, B. C., & Macek, M. D. (2014). Dental insurance visits and expenditures among older adults. American Journal of Public Health, 94(5), 759-764.
Okuji, M. M., & Lewis, D. (2016). Streamlined dental practice. Dental Benefits and Practice Management: A Guide for Successful Practices, 93-108.
Tiwari, T., Scarbro, S., Bryant, L. L., & Puma, J. (2016). Factors associated with tooth loss in older adults in rural Colorado. Journal of community health, 41(3), 476-481.