Source: The Oral Health Website
The Community Guide to Adult Oral Health Program Implementation (Oral Health Guide), along with the corresponding online database of community-based oral health programs, aims to help groups at the state and local levels start or enhance their own oral health programs for older adults. Here, community-based entities can find key tips, case studies, interactive tools, and other sources of support for creating cost-effective, sustainable programs. The Oral Health Guide can help you replicate or expand an existing program or take steps to design and implement a new program. In addition, recognizing the connection between oral health and overall health, the Oral Health Guide contains advice and links to resources concerning interprofessional collaboration to serve older adults’ oral health needs.
The Oral Health Guide begins with an introduction and includes the following eight key steps to implementation:
- Conduct a Needs Assessment: Assessing the specific oral health needs of older adults in your community is a vital first step to implementation.
- Develop a Vision, Mission, and Goals: Developing your program’s vision, mission, and goals helps ensure that staff and community partners are working toward a common objective.
- Establish Partnerships: Collaborating with a variety of organizations can help strengthen the planning process for a community-based oral health program for older adults and can expand the program’s impact.
- Design the Program: As you define your program’s scope, you might choose to replicate, or copy, an existing program; adapt an existing program; or design an entirely new program.
- Finance the Program: Obtaining funding is an important step to starting your program and sustaining it over the long term.
- Implement the Program: You must consider several key steps as you proceed from planning and preparation to program operations and services delivery.
- Evaluate the Program: During the early planning stages of your program, before you start serving older adults, developing an evaluation plan that reflects your program’s vision and mission is imperative.
- Ensure Sustainability: Sharing your program results with partners, funders, and other community stakeholders is fundamental to maintain existing relationships, attract support and buy-in from your community, and thereby ensure your program’s long-term sustainability.
You can also download a hardcopy version of the Oral Health Guide (PDF, 1.9 MB).