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March 22, 2023

QCC and Central Mass. Agency on Aging to offer free dental care for seniors

Photo | Grant Welker Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester

In a partnership with the Worcester nonprofit Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, the Quinsigamond Community College dental clinic piloted offering free dental services to seniors after offering care at a low cost for two decades.

Coming off the first year of the program, QCC reports an increase in patients served and expects that number to continue to rise with enrollment totals up 35% for the fall 2023 semester. Some 270 patients visited the clinic in 2022, according to QCC. 

The QCC clinic offers preventative dental care including cleanings, exams, and prescription fluoride, according to a Tuesday press release from the Worcester college. To receive free care at the clinic, potential patients must be over 55 years of age and reside in Central Massachusetts.

The program is poised to help train dental assistants at QCC by exposing them to complicated medical situations often present in older patients, according to the press release. The clinic posits itself as offering culturally sensitive care for members of the community.

Nationally, more than 45% of dental care costs are paid out-of-pocket rather than through insurance, the largest share of any healthcare service, according to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission.

Photo | Erika Sidor
Moses Dixon, president and CEO of Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging

“Dental care is a key part of overall wellness. However, many older adults lack access to dental care due to cost, not having insurance, transportation issues, and other barriers,” Moses Dixon, president & CEO of CMAA, said in the press release. “We are proud to partner with Quinsigamond Community College to ensure that seniors in the Worcester area and beyond have access to the health resources and services they need. We are committed to improving dental care in our communities. This partnership ensures that is possible.”

The CMAA announced earlier this year it will open a Grandparents Raising Grandkids Resource Center with $1.2 million in federal funding.

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