The purpose of the Kentucky Elder Oral Health Survey (KEOHS) was to assess the oral health status of Kentuckians 65 and older. The KEOHS consisted of a self-administered questionnaire and a clinical examination. Recruitment occurred from May 2002 through March 2005 of persons aged 65 and older (n = 1,386) whose functional ability was classified by residential setting. Independent elders living in their own homes were designated as "well-elders," those who lived in skilled nursing facilities and who were functionally dependent were designated as "nursing home elders," and those older adults who were considered frail were designated as "homebound elders." Significant associations were found between the functional ability of the elders and demographic characteristics. While elders who were homebound reported the highest rate of barriers to care, dental insurance, affordability, and transportation were consistently reported as barriers for all groups of elders. This study has established the baseline oral health status of older adults in Kentucky and the data show differences that exist for various community living situations.
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