Dental Elder Abuse Response (D.E.A.R.) ProjectThe response from D.E.A.R has been amazing. We have received inquiries from and worked with organizations across Canada and the United States including the New York Centre Elder Abuse Centre and the International Association of Caregivers. The program is the first of its kind in the world. Currently, we are in the process of producing a webinar on seniors’ dental issues and D.E.A.R to continue to reach people abroad. We have also delivered several community workshops on dental advance care planning across Toronto and disseminated educational tools to help people create an advance care plan. An important part of promoting dental health in seniors is ensuring that they make record their wishes in their wills or advance care plans. To learn more about advance care planning, download the advanced care guide from the Province of Ontario.
The Dental Elder Abuse Response (D.E.A.R.) Project is a joint pilot project of Archer Dental (West Toronto), the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL), and the National Initiative for Care of the Elderly (Dental Theme Team). D.E.A.R. is funded through a small community-based grant from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) – Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
This project is creating the first materials in Canada which link dentists, caregivers and older adults together on issues of abuse and neglect. Working with dentists, hygienists, seniors, caregivers and community organizations, the D.E.A.R. Project is “Taking the Bite out of Elder Abuse”. Its senior peer-trained workshops, online videos, helpful brochures and checklists provide practical, evidence-based and expert hands-on material to recognize and prevent dental elder abuse and neglect. These materials also help to start the conversation about advance care planning related to dental issues. The content and tools we developed are designed to help caregivers take an active role in promoting the dental health of the seniors that they care for. We are seeing that this simple idea is having a BIG impact. Many caregivers just did not know how to brush another person’s teeth effectively and now can learn online through D.E.A.R.
How can you help?
- Become a peer-trainer, watch our short online videos, schedule a workshop, and download our free brochures and checklists!
- Become a member of the NICE Network’s Dental Theme Team
- Join us on social media for project updates and share your ideas
Did you know that as we age our dental health becomes even more important and yet many older adults suffer terrible abuse and neglect related to oral hygiene?
Poor or neglected oral health can be a form of elder abuse and it is a serious issue. Dental elder abuse can cause pain, suffering and illness for the older person. It can even lead to cases of preventable death.
Our D.E.A.R Project is really “taking a bite out of dental elder abuse”. The media attention through Best Dentist Toronto was very important to our work in raising awareness of elder abuse and neglect from a dental perspective.
We held a launch event for D.E.A.R in early 2014 which delivered our message to key community networks. Media, prominent politicians, and health stakeholders participated including Peggy Nash, MP Parkdale – High Park; Cheri DiNovo, MPP Parkdale – High Park; Dr. Daniel Haas, Dean at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry; and Martin Chartier, the Assistant Chief Dental Officer of Canada. The event received lots of attention and coverage.