Caroline, one of Northwest Housing Alternatives Resident Services Coordinators, received a call a couple months ago from a distraught resident at one of our senior properties. The tenant explained that she was in severe pain trying to eat even the softest of foods, her teeth were falling out on a near weekly basis, and that she desperately needed dentures. She had done some research and consulted a dentist and found that the least expensive set of dentures would still
ost her up to $5,000 dollars plus the doctor’s fees.
Caroline told her she would see what she could find, and after calling several resources for affordable dental care, she found an office in southeast Portland that specialized in geriatric dental care. The flat cost of their care, including the exam fees and the actual denture cost, came out to about $1,500. This was considerably less than what others were charging, however $1,500 is still nearly impossible for people living on low and fixed incomes. After digging a little deeper, Caroline found that the tenant’s MediCare would cover up to $1,000 of the cost, and the tenant could arrange a payment plan with the agency for the remaining $500.
The resident was able to set up an easy payment plan which would not jeopardize her ability to pay other bills, she received a full set of dentures, and is now experiencing increased health due to the dental care she was able to obtain through NHA’s Resident Services team.
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Services Coordinators like Caroline deliver critical programming to our