Depending on your senior’s current nutritional needs, a feeding tube might be something you’re considering for her. There’s a lot to understand about how feeding tubes work and when they’re helpful and when they might be more of a hindrance. Be sure to talk to your senior’s doctor for information about your senior’s specific situation.
Her Doctor Might Suggest a Feeding Tube
Your senior’s doctor might be the one to bring up a feeding tube the first time that you hear about it. Feeding tubes are an option when the patient in question isn’t able to eat or drink. They can also be a solution when someone is refusing food or drink. These are usually temporary solutions.
The Nutrition She Gets Might Be Helpful
On the one hand, your senior may get nutrition through a feeding tube that is beneficial for her. If chewing and swallowing are difficult for your senior or if food is distasteful for her at this stage, this might be an option to consider. The nutrition your elderly family member gets from the feeding tube might help her to be more active and aware, if that’s something that she wants.
Near the End of Life, a Feeding Tube Might not Be Helpful
As your senior edges closer to the end of her life, there are natural changes that occur for her body. Her body’s systems start to shut down, which means that they require fewer nutrients. Water is also not as necessary at this stage. For some aging adults who are near death, a feeding tube can be more uncomfortable than it can be of assistance.
What Were Your Senior’s Wishes Regarding Feeding Tubes?
With all of that in mind, you might find yourself torn about whether or not to go with the feeding tube or not. It can be helpful to try to recall your senior’s wishes regarding feeding tubes. If she’s ever talked about them at all in any way, that information can be vital now. It’s much better if she’s put her wishes in writing, of course, but that may not have been possible depending on her illness.
If a feeding tube is right for your senior, you might feel overwhelmed at the idea of managing it for her. Hospice elder care providers can help you both with these and other procedures. They can ensure that your senior has what she needs and that those therapies and treatments are handled properly.
If you or an aging parent is considering hospice elder care in Norristown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.