University of Delaware

Oral health

Training assists caregivers of people with disabilities, frail elders


2:33 p.m., June 6, 2013--The University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) will hold training sessions about oral health in June for caregivers of people with disabilities and frail elders. 

Direct support professionals, group home staff, dental hygienists and family members of individuals with disabilities are invited to attend one of five half-day sessions that will take place throughout the state.

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This training is important because individuals with disabilities and frail elders have a high risk for dental diseases. Although oral diseases are preventable, the key is knowing how to prevent them. Caregivers play an important role in helping people with disabilities have good oral health and hygiene. Yet, a caregiver may face many challenges trying to maintain or improve the oral health of a person with a disability.

Individuals with a disability and frail elders may also face obstacles in getting to a dentist’s office due to their physical and behavioral problems, as well as access barriers such as transportation, communication and physical structures. Therefore, daily mouth care is then even more important in preventing oral diseases in this population.

Each training session sponsored by CDS and DPH will be conducted by Louise McCarthy, an experienced dental professional, accomplished educator and advocate for people with disabilities. Caregivers will learn about the causes of oral health problems, daily mouth care, creating conditions for oral health success and maintaining a healthy mouth in people with disabilities. 

Training sessions will be offered according to the following schedule. Individuals interested in participating should select one session when registering:

  • Thursday, June 20, 4 to 9 p.m. Clayton Hall, University of Delaware, 100 David Hollowell Drive, Newark. 
  • Friday, June 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Delaware Technical and Community College, Stanton Campus, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd., Newark. 
  • Tuesday, June 25, 4 to 9 p.m. Delaware Technical and Community College, Terry Campus ,100 Campus Drive, Dover. 
  • Thursday, June 27, 4 to 9 p.m. Delaware Technical and Community College, Owens Campus, 18800 Seashore Highway, Georgetown.
  • Friday, June 28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Milford Library, 11 S.E. Front St., Milford, DE 19963

There is no fee for the training, but pre-registration is required at this website. Contact Kara Magane at or 302-831-0140 for registration assistance or additional information. Lunch will be served for the daytime sessions and dinner will be served for the evening sessions. 

Funding for this program is provided by the Delaware Division of Public Health Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services.

About CDS

The Center for Disabilities Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013. As a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, CDS supports the wellbeing, inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities and their families.

The mission of the center is to enhance the lives of individuals and families through education, prevention, service and research related to disabilities. 

CDS promotes independence and productivity so individuals and families can fully participate in the life of their communities in Delaware and beyond. 

For further information, visit the CDS website or call 302-831-6974. The CDS also has a Facebook page.

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