The majority of nursing home residents require assistance with activities of daily living, including oral care. Poor oral health is common in the nursing home because residents are not given appropriate assistance to support this aspect of their care. The purpose of this study was to describe the demographic, functional, and behavioral profile of nursing home residents with dementia who require verbal or physical assistance with mouth care. Residents who required verbal support to complete mouth care exhibited higher levels of physical function, higher levels of cognitive functioning in the domains of language and executive function, lower levels of passivity, and higher scores for the personality trait of openness than residents who required physical assistance. Best practices for implementing verbal and physical assistance during mouth care to persons with dementia are presented on the basis of these profiles.
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