After her stroke, your mom’s medical team recommended a feeding tube to prevent aspiration pneumonia until she regains the ability to swallow and eat meals. The plan is for her to undergo extensive physical, occupational, and speech therapies at home. Is home health care the answer?
You and your sister will help her with personal care, housekeeping, and laundry. But this leaves one area that you’re both worried about. Neither of you is sure that a feeding tube is anything you’re capable of helping with. Have you discussed skilled nursing care with your mom’s medical team?
What Does Feeding Tube Care Entail?
Some feeding tubes go through the nose. If your mom keeps pulling hers out accidentally or because it’s irritating her, her medical team may recommend a tube that’s inserted through her abdomen and into her stomach. This is a decision that your mom may have to make, or her medical power of attorney may need to make the choice for her.
If the percutaneous endoscopic feeding tube is chosen, the incision is made through the side and the tube is held in place within the stomach using a cap or balloon-like device. The nutritional formula is added to a bag that feeds into the tubing for a pump to administer the formula.
After the feeding, the tube must be flushed with water to ensure it doesn’t clog. The other supplies are washed in warm soapy water to avoid contamination and bacterial growth. All of this must be done to keep your mom healthy. Are you up for the care that’s required? Most family members find it difficult and need other options.
How Do Skilled Nurses Help?
With skilled nursing care, you have a trained professional available to check that the tube incision is healing properly. Older adults may not heal as quickly as you’d expect. Where the tube was inserted needs to be kept clean to avoid infection.
A nurse knows what the signs of infection or irritation are. With skilled nursing care, there’s an expert on hand to clean the incision and troubleshoot what needs to happen next. If there are issues, the skilled nurse talks to your mom’s medical team to relay relevant information and talk about the next plans of action.
If your mom has medications that are given through the feeding tube, a nurse can administer those medications through a fluid solution. Your mom may need IV medications, skilled nursing care also offers IV medication administration.
Tubes have to be flushed out to avoid clogs. The feedings need to be administered. If this is too much for you, make sure your mom is supported at home. Skilled nurses assist with feeding tube care and administration of those meals. Talk to a specialist in skilled nursing to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Auburn, AL, please contact the caring staff at Prime Home Health today. Caring for Our Friends and Neighbors in Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Macon, and Russell Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! 334.745.7966