Feeding Tube Awareness Week
DATE: 5 February 2019
This week is Feeding Tube Awareness Week.
Initiated in the United States nine years ago, it aims to increase awareness of feeding tubes and to promote the positive benefits of feeding tubes as life-saving medical interventions.
Tube feeding, also called enteral nutrition, is a way that food in liquid form is given through a tube into the stomach or small intestine.
Feeding Tube Awareness Week also serves as an opportunity to educate the community about the medical reasons why children and adults may require tube feeding, the challenges they face and day-to-day life with tube feeding.
Yooralla customer Narelle (pictured), who uses tube feeding as well as a ventilator, said she would like to do her part during the awareness week this year in educating the wider community about what it’s like living with tube feeding.
“Many people who use tube feeding find it hard to join in many celebrations because the events are so focused on food: Christmas – the roast and the pudding; Easter – the chocolate eggs and the hot cross buns; all the things we can no longer enjoy. It can make you feel very isolated to be at functions where everyone is encouraged to bring a plate,” she said.
Narelle said she wants people to be more aware of this if a person who uses tube feeding is part of their celebrations.
“Make it about the music, the laughter, the games, the stories and about sharing these wonderful moments with friends and family, and have the food just in the background. This would really make a big difference to the person who can’t join in sharing the same food with you. This would be a lovely and thoughtful gesture if you’re hosting someone with tube feeding,” she said.
Yooralla’s highly trained staff support many customers with tube feeding in their home and in the community.
For more information about support groups and resources for people living with tube feeding, visit the Feeding Tube Awareness Week’s website.