Newsday - Dr. Steven Itzkowitz: “Angel - Consider Options Before Allowing a Feeding Tube”
“Elderly people with dementia have seen many of life's pleasures stripped away one by one, with eating often one of the few that remain. Why take that away, too? And why would three of my mother's doctors suggest doing so without mentioning any alternatives?,” asked Karen Angel in an opinion piece for Newsday. At least 20 studies have concluded that people with dementia don't benefit from feeding tubes. Yet more than a third of nursing-home patients with advanced dementia continue to receive the tubes – in part because the facilities' staff is stretched too thin to hand-feed. "It can take some time and patience to fully assess a patient's ability to swallow," said Dr. Steven Itzkowitz, a gastroenterologist and professor at The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
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