Regardless of how long it takes a resident to eat, oral intake has always been recommended over other forms of feeding. Have it in mind that other feeding methods such as tube feeding can cause a loss of function by not employing the resident’s existing munching and ingesting systems.
Residents in long-term care are always encouraged to feed themselves, nevertheless, a patient may need feeding assistance for a variety of reasons.
Feeding assistance may be required due to physical issues (such as the inability to grip a fork, incoordination that prevents people from getting the spoon to the mouth, etc.) or cognitive issues (including simply forgetting how to chew). Many who can still feed themselves may need some assistance with tray layout.
Each patient’s condition is different, and there might be times when a feeding tube is the most appropriate remedy for an elderly person. Nursing home staff can collaborate with patients and family members to assist them in making knowledgeable feeding decisions.
Feeding Methods in Long-Term Care Facilities
Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) are nutrient assistance products that assist individuals to fulfill their dietary needs or boost their nutrient intake in an efficient and non-invasive manner. Individuals who receive ONS might be willing to eat normal meals but cannot fulfill each of their nutritional needs through a normal diet alone, necessitating the use of supplemental nourishment.
In other cases, ONS may be beneficial if a patient needs a liquid-based diet. A healthcare professional or registered dietitian may write a prescription or suggest ONS products. In certain instances, people depend entirely on ONS for nourishment.
Enteral nutrition (EN) therapy can only be transferred intravenously into the intestinal system through tube feeding if an individual has a disease or disorder that restricts or inhibits oral intake.
Enteral nutrition via tube feeding offers life-sustaining nutrition. It is frequently considered necessary as a primary alternative feeding method whenever an individual finds it difficult to eat stuff orally and/or has a deficient digestion process.
EN therapy consists of specially designed liquid feedings comprising protein, refined carbs, fats, vitamin supplements, minerals, as well as other essential nutrients. Such nutrition assistance products are tailored to meet the requirements of individuals suffering from a wide range of illnesses and ailments.
Parenteral nutrition (PN) is the intravenous administration of nutrient content into the circulatory system (via a vein), circumventing the digestive system.
It is a special liquid mixture that includes nutrients, carbs, fats, vitamin supplements, trace elements, and other important micronutrients. Once oral or enteral nutrition cannot be fulfilled or is associated with side effects, PN becomes an alternative or complementary strategy for nutrition intervention.