View Single Post
Old 10-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
ninamarc's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,702
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Re: please advise about Naso and gastric tube


I actually did a lot of research online about feeding tube for demented person.
Luau got a point, if it is temporary and can help reviving the patient, temp. feeding tube is OK. However, if the patient is in severe stage, at some point, feeding tube is not wanted by the person. Some research papers say that because the patient does not understand the tubes, she would take it off and endanger herself. As a popular practice here in North America, the feeding tubes and even the IVs or any tubes are not used for the demented patient with severe stage. In one or two cases, the family choose to keep the feeding tube if the elder still talks and doesn't want to die. Sometimes feeding tube can only make the person live for one more month so it may not be worth the suffering of the tubing.

Also, the feeding tube can cause infections on the wounds and often the patient needs to take lots of antibioitcs often. I know a disabled child who needs feeding tube all his life and he got infections a lot. For an older demented person, since she will get worse, such infections would be cruel to her. She would feel pain and so painkiller would be needed. The open wound is something one needs to take care of as long as there is a permanent tube. The stomach feeding tube is the one they use for such patients since they cannot swallow. The nasal tube can be removed easily by the person and it is not permanent. The food IV is only for a week or so with liquid and etc.

It is up to the family to decide this. If the elder has told you what she wants, go with her wish. If there is no such statement and you are the POA, you can decide for her whether she wants feeding tube or not.

It is not an easy choice. We took a while to decide not to have feeding tube for my late FIL. But he died without getting to that point yet. We did stop giving him IV and sending him to the hospital - the NH was doing the caregiving very well.


Last edited by ninamarc; 10-10-2012 at 10:35 AM.

The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post:
bbroke (10-10-2012)