13 Nov 2018

Nutrition Concerns in Hospice Care

patient, doctor and nurse

There might be nothing as challenging for you and your family as a life-limiting illness. Patients at this stage have specific needs, which in most cases will need expert handling. Most families, however, opt to take care of their loved ones at home to save on costs and spend more time with them.

One of the needs which are generally almost impossible to handle at home efficiently is the nutrition of a patient with a life-limiting condition. There are different options in hospice care facilities in Indiana for the feeding of their patients.

Here are some of the common nutrition issues in hospice patient care and how to handle them.

Difficulty Swallowing and Chewing

The chemotherapy and at times mouth sores in hospice care patients makes it difficult for them to chew and swallow. To ensure these patients still get proper nutrition, their food is pureed or soaked in broth, milk or gravy to make it soft. They are also not fed on acidic and spicy foods or foods with extreme temperatures since these will irritate them.

Nausea

Nausea in hospice patients is generally a side-effect of the drugs used for chemotherapy and alleviating different symptoms. To minimize nausea, the care personnel in hospice will encourage frequent feeds in small amounts with plenty of fluids between meals. In severe cases of nausea, the patient may take anti-nausea medications.

Diarrhea

This is a common complaint in hospice patients as a result of diseases that weaken the digestive system. To minimize diarrhea bouts and boost recovery from it, increased fluid intake is essential. This is however done under expert guidance to avoid fluid overload in the patients.

Without proper nutrition, optimal care in life-limiting diseases is generally hard to achieve. In a hospice care setting, you are sure that professionals handle the issues above. This way, patients can be comfortable in the end stages of their disease.

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