Just a few thoughts on having read the article on the idea of relatives feeding patients in hospitals.
If patients are too ill to feed themselves, any relative or friend who happens to be there at the time might offer to help with this task which can be lengthy and tedious. They might also offer to feed eveyone else in the bay, because some people like doing that sort of thing. Just in a normal way, because they're there at the time.
Possibly it might be a way of communicating, helpful to both giver and receipient.
Why change something which is perfectly normal and nice into some rule infested set up where everyone's the looser?
The patient might prefer the independence of being nursed in the time honoured traditional way. Being fed by visitors might be embarrassing and unwelcome. The patient might feel demeaned.
The visitor might feel put upon.
The staff might eventually regard any assistance in feeding they have to give as only because the relative or friend hasn't come to do what is now not their job.
If visitors had to commit to feed their relatives, or friends, they might find the visits more stressful than normal, and visitors omitting to turn up.
The struggle and skills required to actually get the food down, in the case of people finding it hard to swallow, can be distressing and anger making for both the patient and the person feeding them.
Also is this the thin end of the wedge? The next stage could be changing dirty clothing and dirty bed-linen. This could cause the patients to be left in bed dirtying their nightwear and mattresses, which then got changed by someone else, so the nursing staff would have no need of taking people to the toilet, or getting involved in badpans and the like. Just leave them there and someone else will come and clean it all up.
What about people with no friends or relatives? Entering a hospital with part of the care being done by un paid, untrianed, do-gooders if you're lucky. (You can have your operation done and pills will be given but if you can't feed yourself, or endear yourself to somebody else's relative, you'll starve.
Also what about cross infections, and sterile hygene etc. After the relative has fondled the dog, then been to the toilet and not washed their hands, they now touch everyone in the bay administering their dinner.
I suppose when the system reaches breaking point the hospital will then pay private "Feeders" to come in and do that job, providing a new niche in the job market. And we'll all be paying for it!
Kind Regards, C Youngman (ex physiotherapist, home carer, and daily visitor to husband's Nursing Home.)
Why no flowers for hospital patients? - 20 March 2013
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Competitions & Fun
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Win one of 31 fabulous travel treats from Silver Travel Advisor this December
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Property & Finance
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Leisure and Lifestyle
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