Seniors know how difficult it can be to find a dentist in Washington, especially if they're on Medicaid. They often discover the services are not covered or there is a limit to the amount of Medicaid patients a clinic will take. One dentist and two nonprofit groups are working to change that.
Allison Jacobs LeGendre, a veteran dentist with ties to the University of Washington, works with hundreds of seniors at Foss Home and Village and Providence ElderPlace of Seattle.
LeGendre is trying to change the way seniors get dental care. She provides services like cleanings, extractions, fillings and dentures at Foss and ElderPlace. It's a life-changing service for some of her clients.
"Oh, it's excellent," says Tim Chapel, an ElderPlace participant who couldn't afford dental care for 35 years. "If it wasn't for them I'd still have smelly, bad teeth."
LeGendre has served hundreds of people through Foss but recently partnered with ElderPlace to help more seniors. She also partners with UW dental students who are interested in geriatric dentistry. LeGendre is helping hundreds of people, but ultimately she is thankful for the people who make it happen.
"I get a lot of hugs in a day," laughs LeGendre. "To be able to be here at this moment is incredible. I can't say enough about ElderPlace. This is an amazing comprehensive program that I'm delighted being a part of."