New Zealand has an ageing population with more elderly people who are living longer. The 65+ group now make up one in eight of all New Zealanders, compared with one in 12 in the early 1970s. While most of the this population of older people will enjoy good health, there is a growing proportion of older people aged 75 years and over, who are frail, dependant and in failing health. Many of these frail older people have their own teeth but may not be able to care for themselves.
This guide provides an overview of topics that are of particular relevance to providing oral health care for older people. With a greater knowledge of these areas, caregivers will be able to provide excellent assistance for people in their care.