Stop Calling Me a Tube-Feeder

This morning I received an email from a vendor outlining new procedures for billing enterals and ostomies. A pretty boring topic, even in my world. I've been thinking about it all day though, because this particular vendor referred to our residents as "tube-feeders" five times. And he didn't even use the hyphen.

Tube-feeder? Is that what you become right before you're consider a bottom-feeder?

We're a month away from National Nursing Home Week, and I thought we had all taken a step forward as an industry. I don't even think about calling someone a "Medicaid resident" or "a fractured hip" any more than you would call your neighbor's child with a developmental disability, "retarded."

I am frequently reminded, however, that not everyone we work with understands the importance of language in long term care.

So please, if you are reading this, take a moment to think about the language you use to describe our residents and their needs. Feeders, screamers, assists-of-two, memory-care residents, hip-fractures, hospice residents, and level two's all should have went away with OBRA '87. We don't toilet people anymore than we sink them or exhaust fan them. You walk your dog, but you don't walk a resident. We assist people with their needs; people are Medicaid recipients and in some cases require that level II paperwork is completed before they move into our neighborhood. This isn't a marketing gimmick - it's basic respect for your fellow human beings.

You wouldn't call your own grandma a feeder, would you?


Unknown said...

richmond retirement homes have been great of my friend's family. Her parents were able to spend their last years in peace and comfort.

Unknown said...

richmond retirement homes have been great of my friend's family. Her parents were able to spend their last years in peace and comfort.

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Ruby Walters said...

Thanks for the perspective, I think it is so important to treat residents with respect and to help them maintain their dignity. My grandparents have lived in richmond retirement homes for years and I can see the difference that this mindset makes on the care that residents receive.

Marcus Fillion said...

I couldn't agree more. I think the home care industry has taken huge steps forward, but there are always going to be people stuck in the past. I think the staff and visitors are very aware of respectful language, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

warwick wood said...

Great post.

warwick wood said...

Nice Post

Laura Troyani said...

What a great article. And a reminder to always check out a nursing or hospice facility before entering yourself or a family member. Otherwise, you don't know what you'll get. Here's an article that you might like on hospice care so patients know what to look for. Here's an article that helps people know just what to look for.