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Why Families Are Declining the Feeding Method for Dementia Patients


Healthcare is the most important aspect for people living in any country as well as the economy of any state. The overall well-being of any country comes from each and every citizen and the systems developed for them.

In terms of dementia cases as part of the overall healthcare system, every element is challenging and requires proper analysis. Each health concern or issue comes with its specific features. Patients have specific needs so when it comes to dementia, they should also receive adapted care to cover their special needs.

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Different Options and Circumstances for Patient Care

Over time, there have been numerous questions and opinions expressed regarding the most efficient feeding method for dementia patients. Some have expressed themselves as pro using certain methods. On the other hand, others have completely declined those. All of these people have their well-established reasons to choose one way or the other.

In the end, it might all be according to the specifics of each patient. It also depends on what the patient might have wanted or what those close to them and the medical teams might consider best in such situations. Let’s analyze more in detail one of these cases: why families are declining the tube feeding method for dementia patients.

Research Results and Specialized Doctor Opinions

As far as research goes, numerous studies concerning patients suffering from dementia have reached the surface in the last few years. Their health status is a complex one with numerous factors to consider. It is sometimes really difficult to find any perfect overall solution in such cases.

It may be because patients are really different from various points of view. Moreover, it could also be because these patients cannot really express their opinions and preferences. As a result, it all goes in the hands of their healthcare providers and family members.

Recent researches reveal that in the case of patients dealing with dementia that received food using tubes no type of noticeable results in terms of health improvement came to the surface. Such measures did not seem to help them leave longer or make them feel more comfortable in any way.

Most of these researches have included patients suffering from the worse form of dementia. Those who have undergone such studies were all near the end of life when they could not speak, recognize dear ones or get out of bed.

Such results have determined numerous healthcare providers are well as family members to decide against using this method. The main reason is that when there is nothing left to do from a medical point of view, such techniques can only prolong the suffering of those patients.

When there is no return to a normal life, just keeping those patients alive a little bit longer but maybe suffering more is just not the best option. In most cases, such methods do not even influence their life duration or quality in any way.

Using Alternatives to Tube Feeding

In the past, tube feeding was a healthcare measure often encountered in all the medical facilities treating patients suffering from dementia. In the last few years, numerous studies have revealed that it does not actually help patients in any way. This is why many people have decided against it. Moreover, numerous specialized doctors in this field of medical care have got involved in new research. It is all with the purpose of discovering more effective alternatives to tube feeding.

This is how studies have revealed that careful hand feeding for example can be as good as tube feeding for patients suffering from the same symptoms. Moreover, for such patients the outcome results were the same in both cases of feeding. However, many of those who opted for hand feeding instead of tube feeding said that they chose this option to ensure better comfort for their loved ones and keep them tube-free.

Taking into account that there are no medical improvements shown to appear by choosing this method, we can totally understand why alternatives are the better solution. Living your final moments of life in such circumstances certainly does not get better by adding feeding tubes to your care. When there is nothing more to do from a medical point of view in post-operative care, comfort and love are all that we can offer to patients.


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