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Reintroducing Meal Choices




  • Addresses the meaning of food beyond the nutritional benefits of eating
  • Explores the disadvantages of not eating
  • Informs about the importance of communication in formulating a tube-feeding care plan
  • Proforma of a care plan for introducing meal choices
  • Discussion of the importance of educating health professionals, family and friends who surround a person being reintroduced to oral food
  • Includes a relevant case study

Tube feeding provides an opportunity to replace oral food and fluid intake with nutritionally complete tube-feeding formulae. However, people with a gastrostomy tube - who do not have an oral intake - can have difficulty adjusting to a lifestyle that lacks food-centered activities. This chapter explores the symbolism of food and the losses experienced by people who can no longer take food orally.


Contents include

  • Meanings of food
  • Losses associated with not eating
  • Guidelines and education
  • Assessing oral intake
  • Suitability of tubes
  • Team involvement
  • Beginning the process
  • Educating carers
  • Case study
  • Conclusion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Catherine Barrett is a registered nurse with particular expertise in the care of people with gastrostomy tubes. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing science and certificates in gerontic nursing, advanced management, sexual and reproductive health, and assessment and workplace training. Catherine has been working in aged care since 1982 as a nurse unit manager, an external assessor for the Standards and Accreditation Agency, a veterans' project officer, and a consultant nurse for the National Ageing Research Institute (Australia). Catherine's doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne ...
Sally Bowen comes from a teaching background and holds a degree in social sciences and postgraduate qualifications in aged care. She began working in aged care in 1994 as an activity director, and has become committed to the implementation of various activities and programs as part of her holistic understanding of dementia care. Sally has developed a particular interest in Validation therapy, and this has enhanced her communication with people with dementia and her skills in providing leisure opportunities for older people in general. Sally is committed to a team-oriented approach in which the...
BA, Dip (Educational Psychology) and Dip (Visual Arts).
Clare Hetzel is a psychologist, sexual health consultant, and visual artist. She holds a bachelor of arts degree (in psychology and anthropology), a diploma in educational psychology, and a diploma in visual arts. Clare has been involved in both private and public health care as a psychologist, educator, family counsellor, mediator, and consultant for the past twenty years. During this time she has developed and implemented a range of programs - including programs on sensual well-being and sexual health promotion, communication and conflict resolution, and grief and stress management. Clare sp...

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