By Samantha Bunch, eHow Contributor Feeding tubes may be given to the elderly when they are unable to eat normally. Many times with age, the muscles in the throat will gradually cease to work. There are several potential complications related to having a feeding tube. Read more: What Are the Dangers of a Feeding Tube in the Elderly? eHow.comhttp://www.ehow.com/facts_5761198_dangers-feeding-tube-elderly_.html#ixzz18c27FbCL...

By Jack Halpern More than one-third of U.S. nursing home residents with advanced dementia have feeding tubes. About two-thirds of these have the tube inserted during an acute-care hospitalization. Feeding tubes should only be used as a last resort because they lead to a loss of functioning, and can cause serious medical and psychological problems. If a resident is able to swallow and can get adequate nutrition by eating, no matter how long it takes, then no tube should be used. Lack of staff available to assist a resident with regular eating is not an acceptable excuse to install a feeding tube. Larger hospitals and those that are set up to make a profit are more likely to use feeding tubes in patients with advanced dementia, despite evidence that the practice does not prolong life or help with bed sores and other problems.> Nursing home patients with advanced cognitive impairment often are fed through feeding tubes that were inserted during acute hospitalizations. To identify factors associated with feeding tube placement during acute hospitalizations, researchers analyzed Medicare claims files and federally mandated data collected from U.S. nursing homes. The study involved 163,000 nursing home patients with advanced cognitive impairment who were admitted to 2800 acute-care hospitals between 2000 and 2007.> According to a report published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, “About one third of U.S. nursing home residents with advanced cognitive impairment have feeding tubes. In this setting, such tubes can cause discomfort and have no demonstratable health benefits” (JAMA, July 2, 2009,...