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When a person is at the end of life and they stop swallowing properly and lose their appetite; this is a natural process, not necessarily an illness. Just because we can insert food via a tube to the stomach, doesn't mean we should; the reason people have complications with tube feedings in the situation I have described, is that the individual's body is often unable to process the feeding and use the nutrients; often then if we continue to feed is builds up and overflows into the lungs.
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Vstefans, Also, it's good to note it was the husband who had the power, even though he had moved on, already had another wife, and the parents were not allowed to care for her instead. Big legal battles as he fought to have her euthanized all those years, and then won. A landmark case.
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I think so - bear in mind she did not have a progressive condition, but severe brain injury from lack of oxygen. Most of us thought it was wrong to stop it because she had some responses to people, her parents wanted to care for her, and the person in charge had financial conflict of interest while she had never expressed wishes clearly one way or another.
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Wasn't Terry Shaivo kept alive for about 15 years on a feeding tube?
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While I hate having a feeding tube it really does not restrict me in any way. I set up the feedings overnight while I am asleep and during the day can eat anything I fancy as long as I can get it down in small quantities. I do have to use the commercial feeds, but Medicare pays, because i have a J tube which is fairly small in diameter. The gastric tubes are bigger so it is possible to use home made foods with little risk of blocking the tube.
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My FIL had a head trauma from a fall. He was in late 70's. Spent 3 months in ICU, rehab etc. He had to use a feeding tube. He made what we thought of as a full recovery. He lived another 10 years. He developed dementia in his later years (results of head trauma?) but lived independently. In his case it was a good decision to use the feeding tube. So would agree with others in that it depends on the circumstances.
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If you wish to contact privately you can contact the admins and if everyone is agreeable you will be able to use private email away from the forum. It is however strongly discouraged. You could try private message and set up Facebook contact.
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MaryKathleen,
Welcome to the AC forum. You are exactly right, I should take my jokes over to the whine thread, or somewheres else.
Contacting people outside of the forum is not allowed by AC rules and recommendations. It is considered unsafe internet/social media practice.
If you really need to correct someone, click on their name and private message them on their message board.
I left a message for you, privately.
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My brother had a feeding tube while he was recovering from throat cancer, in his fifties. That lasted several months. It is out now, he is eating normally, and we all are delighted. I am certainly glad this technology is available. I would chose it for myself if I had a temporary need for it and a good chance of recovering (although the older I get the less likely I am to make that choice.)

For an elderly person with dementia, I don't think it is a good choice. We turned it down for my husband twice while he had dementia. From what I have read, it does not change the outcome and it usually involves some kind of restraint. A person with dementia, even if they understand and agree to the device, is just going to have a real hard time leaving it alone.

And there are unusual cases (as vstefans points out) where the feeding tube is needed long term, and allows the person to function normally in other respects.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question "Should my loved one have a feeding tube?"
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sendme2help. Yes, we have a 36' diesel pusher. I don't think this is the forum for your question. Help out there, is there a way sendme2help can contact me outside of this forum?
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UrPatientAdvo , All of us, All of us, need to face this issue. Thank you for commenting. When we drew up our trust I talked to my oldest daughter regarding my wishes if I have no chance of recovering. She said she couldn't pull the plug. So, I made my youngest daughter executer of my health if my husband wasn't available. I do not want feeding tubes or anything else to prolong my death.
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That is so very generous, Veronica, to put yourself out there, with or without that bikini!

900 M Super Lotto hugs to you tonight!
Does anyone actually have experience driving a RV of any size? 34' here.
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GENERAL rule of thumb - feeding tube for most people with advanced dementia does not improve either quality or quantity of life, but for most people with a specific reason for swallowing trouble - Stephen Hawking being a good example - it can do both, for many, many years. Feeding tubes do not limit speech, mobility, or other activities for someone who knows not to pull them out. Placing a surgical tube is usually better than having it through the nose chronically and sometimes it is a really simple procedure. You can typically still eat by mouth if you are otherwise able and safe to do so. This is a really good post because it should be an individualized decision based on each person's diagnosis and prognosis, and realistic goals; eliminating myths and worries about feeding tubes, as well as avoiding the cookie-cutter approach that says either everybody or nobody should get one is really important.
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At the end of life dying body performs in exactly the someway with or without a feeding tube. Someone who is unable to swallow from disease or injury will be able to prolong their life significantly but in the end with or without a tube the body will reject food as systems shut down. With a gastric tube there will be food remaining in the stomach between feedings and the patient will vomit and with a J tube a lot of food will remain between feedings and the patient will become bloated and uncomfortable, When other signs of imminent death are present it is pointless to place a tube for a few short weeks or days because the patient is refusing food.
certain diseases may twist the body and then a tube can prolong life for a significant length of time as in the case of Stephen Hawkin who probably has a tube although no one has said so. One young beauty recently posed in a bikini with her tube in full view. She will probably have many years ahead of her. (Don't worry folks I am not going out to buy a bikini) but I certainly would be prepared to swim in a nice warm pool. Anyone with specific questions is welcome to post on my board and i will answer them truthfully.
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Debrajj, ask the doctor for a "swallow test" . A therapist will perform the test and advise the doctor of the results. The therapist may find the patient may be able to tolerate a little thickened liquids and pureed foods. The patient may still need the feeding tube to obtain enough nutrients.
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Debraji, I wish I could provide information on your question, but I'm afraid I don't have any experience with that issue. I hope others here, who do have answers, will respond. My concern is that since you posted your question at the end of someone else's old thread, it might not be viewed that much. If you don't get responses, you might try to post your own thread about this matter.
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A elderly person has a g-tube. How do the doctor or therapist know if they can swallow or not. What detail test is done to determine this? Patient is asking for certain foods. I give ice chips and no problem.
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Hi Tom Mullen, would you recommend the fruits and vegetables over the regular fluids that the hospital puts in the feeding tubes.
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My mom is 96 years old and in a nursing home; she is relatively healthy (hearing issues,uses a walker. She still gets around pretty well but the problem is eating. Do to a problem with her esophagus she is unable to keep down food. She still enjoys eating but as soon as she does it comes back up. The nursing home doctor has recommended a feeding tube but she (and the family) feel as though it would limit her being able to go out ( to the family homes and visiting the grandchildren). I was wondering if how much this would limit her ( confine her to the bed, or nursing home)?
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My father had a feeding tube put in during a hospitalization last October/November. He got down to a low of only 110# (he's 5'10"). He had been steadily decreasing in weight due to lack of appetite in general, then the tube was needed because he temporarily lost ability to swallow due to some type of septic shock (?).

The good news is - after using the tube for about a month, he was able to begin soft foods by mouth again, and now he is back to 100% eating/drinking by mouth and he has gained 20 pounds in past few months.

In his case, the tube was used temporarily and was necessary to stabilize him... so it was a definite benefit at that time.
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knowing your loved one is very important. If I could still have a clear mind and it was just about nutrition, then yes I would say a tube feeding would be ok. If I had a stroke and could only have thickened liquids and puree food. Yep I would want a tube feeding. Other than that nope don't want one. If I no longer had my mind or had Alzheimer's disease and was at the end process. Let me go, I work in a nursing home and I see families struggle with this all the time. Let your heart be your guide what is a life if you can not be productive in some way.
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You have to ask what is in the patient's best interest. Will a feeding tube give this person a better/increased quality of life or will it prolong the agony? What does the person want? If you don't know then speak with the doctor, ask the prognosis, if prognosis is poor even with a feeding tube, then you may want to consider not having one placed. By the time a person is at this stage, they no longer feel thirst or hunger like you and I do. If the person is reasonably healthy otherwise, is functional, then if the prognosis if good consider the placement of a feeding tube. When my grandma was ill, she had dementia among other medical issues, she slowly stopped eating, my dad asked about a feeding tube . By this time my grandma's prognosis was poor, the feeding tube would not give her her life back or improve her quality of life. We decided not to place a feeding tube. Its a very personal choice, weigh all the facts. I've seen the area around the tube become red, sometimes the tube will be pulled out by the person or accidently by someone else then the person will need to have the tube replaced. Good luck.
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Hi Pattypoor,
I'm sorry, but I really don't have much to tell you about the feeding tube my mom had. She died only 3 weeks after having it put in. It was not the reason she died, because she got a bladder infection which caused her bad issues. All I can tell you is that even the doctor told us that the feeding tube wouldn't be a good idea, but my dad had it done anyway. Mom really didn't respond to it because she was too far away from us in her mind by then to even notice it. I hope whatever you choose to do, that it is the right decision for you and your family.
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Are there bad side effects of a Parkinsons patient having a feeding tube
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Chimom, my mom was bedridden for over 13 years. She always struggled with rashes on her back, backside and anywhere she sweats. In all that time, she only had her first and only bedsore - when she spent a month in the hospital for blood poisoning. When she came home, her bottom, and private area was super angry red. And she had this big bedsore on her back butt, digging down towards her bone. I was totally grossed out. The govt caregivers told me that we need to aggressively treat it before it reaches the bone. One of their other clients has that, and she said it really stinks and much worse looking than what I was seeing. That just freaked dad and I out. We got in contact with mom's case worker who got the doctor to prescribe DuoDerm. You clean the bedsore area really well, wipe it dry completely, and then cut a small patch of DuoDerm to cover the hole. Leave it for about 3 days, take it out, clean, dry, put a new patch over it. We spent over $100 on those patches. One small square was $10.00.

With your mom, the best way to fight off the bedsores is to make sure they change her pampers often. Don't her lie on the soaking pamper for hours. Clean her well every time you change pampers. Change her gown every time you change her pampers. Or if she's wet from sweating (even with the air con on), change her gown.

Does your mom have an air mattress? This goes on top of the bed, and bubbles pop up and then down. This is good to prevent bedsores. Mom's air mattress was covered by Medicare 80%.

FYI, when dad got his bedsore (he absolutely refuses to sleep or lie on his side), the nurse came. She specializes on wounds. I couldn't watch her. She took a qtip and used the gauze to dig into my dad's bedsore to clean it. When she was done, she took some cut pieces of the clean gauze and inserted it in the hole. Then she covered his bedsore with a gauze. I didn't think it would work. But it did. Plus she said that when it comes to bedsores, the body needs protein to heal.
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The feeding tube my mom now has inserted, now almost a month is pumping food into her 24 - 7 and I was shocked to find that out when I went to visit her. Who can deal with this and what sane person would want this for their parent? My sister and my father would. Even the doctor didn't want to do it, but they insisted. Now lying in a hospital bed, at home next to the blaring t.v she lies and just stares into space and she gets nothing by mouth now either. I am not insensitive to my father, but in his case he needs my mom alive to so he can continue to live in their home with the aid of her pension. He continues his life of going every day to the Legion to drink and play cards. Yes, he needs his time away from her, but you need to understand that now that my sister is there to take care of my mom's needs, so he can continue to live the way he always did when my mom was taking care of everything at home. She has bed sores already and even though the case workers are trying their best to keep them from happening, by moving her back and forth it doesn't stop them from forming. I am so ready to let her go to the Lord and to have peace, finally. I pray this doesn't happen to any one you love, think long and hard before you make that decision to have the tube put in. This is just my opinion if it is worth anything.
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My mother has been in nursing home care for 11 years and declining health since the 1970's. She has a serious mental health problem that led to her declining physical health. I have chose NOT to place a feeding tube due to the aspiration pneumonia she severely had just two years ago with her failure to thrive condition. I've seen her suffer since I was a child. I'm 53...she's 73..and she is wasting away. My tears are heavy right now and Hospice is starting to look in on her again for the second time. God is preparing a new home for her now, So....No artificial anything!
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Sheila, if the doctors said there is a good chance for recovery, yes, I would agree to the feeding tube. If the patient is a week from dying, no, I would not, because it only makes things worse and prolongs the suffering.
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My Mother, is trying to recover from Pneomia and has been diagnois with malnutrition. The nose feeding tube has been positive, now comes the decision to put the stomach one in. I hope we are making the right decision.
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Joyce13 if she has a directive that says no feeding tube then you should adhere to her wishes.
My father had a peg tube in his abdomen for four years because he lost the use of his epiglottis. He was of sound mind for the most part. It prolonged his life and he was able to die at home after his bouts with pneumonia. In certain situations a feeding/peg tube is a solution. For others it is not.
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