Our clients with complex conditions are often unable to eat orally and require enteral feeding. They can have many difficulties, including reduced swallowing and chewing, reflux, reduced mobility which impairs self-feeding abilities, illness as well as social/psychological factors. Some have a reduced appetite due to issues un-associated with their condition. Conversely, some patients may become overweight, largely as a result of their reduced mobility.
Our Healthcare Support Workers (HSWs) work with clients, their families and specialised services to deliver the care our clients need. This may be through complex care delivery associated with specialised feeding needs such as a PEG through to assisting with the preparation of food.
We routinely monitor our clients’ weight. If our client is finding it difficult to maintain a normal bodyweight, we carry out a full assessment, typically involving the following experts:
- Dieticians – to assess amounts and types of food eaten, vs growth charts
- Speech and language therapist – to take feeding history and check the muscles of the tongue, lips and throat, and investigate any other potential causes of problems with chewing
- Doctors/gastroenterologists – to confirm/exclude reflux
- Psychologist – to help with social/psychological issues with eating
- Occupational therapist – to help with posture and mobility issues that may be affecting eating