Friday, November 10, 2017
Recently there was some coverage about a woman who was being spoon-fed by employees of the facility despite the existence of her advance directive. Kaiser Health News covers the issue in New ‘Instructions’ Could Let Dementia Patients Refuse Spoon-Feeding explains that a group in Washington State has issued “Instructions for Oral Feeding and Drinking”.
As well there's a second document that explains the pros and cons of doing so. There are limits, according to the KHN article.
The guidelines do not apply to people with dementia who still get hungry and thirsty and want to eat and drink, the authors note. ... “If I accept food and drink (comfort feeding) when they’re offered to me, I want them,” the document states. ... But if the person appears indifferent to eating, or shows other signs of not wanting food — turning away, not willingly opening their mouth, spitting food out, coughing or choking — the document says attempts to feed should be stopped. ... And the guidelines tell caregivers to respect those actions.
As well, the KHN article notes, these are guidelines and are not required to be followed.