Feeding, Mouth Care, Giving Medicines, Syringe Driver Care

Feeding, Mouth Care, Giving Medicines, Syringe Driver Care


Food plays and important role in the care of your patient.

The diet may be full, light, soft or liquid depending on the condition of the patient.

A full diet is a normal diet.

A light diet is an easily digested diet avoiding indigestible foods.

Viz. cucumber, tough meats, fried and roasted foods and gas forming vegetables, e.g.

Cabbage, and very spicy foods.

A soft diet is a full or light diet, which has been mashed or minced to make chewing unnecessary.

A liquid diet may be given by mouth or tube (nasogastric tube or a tube inserted through the wall of the abdomen into the stomach).

Suitable liquids are:
• Coffee, tea, flavoured milk.
• Egg flips/ milk shakes
• Custard, ice cream, jelly
• Strained fruit juices
• Strained thin soups
• Ensure, Build Up, Complan

A sick person is unable to digest a large meal and usually lacks the appetite to eat it.

Serve small portions frequently
Get the patient ready for his meal before to him. If possible sit him up comfortable, with a (Sage Health Solution Bib).
Make the food look as attractive as you can
If a patient has to be or given drinks from a feeding cup because he is unable to take food or drink by himself his meals will take longer than they normally would: allow plenty of time for this.
Fluids are more easily taken than solid foods by very ill patients.
They can be nourishing and require less energy to swallow.
Small amounts help with hydration and avoid distension to swallow.
Fluids help to keep the kidneys and bladder functioning and help and help to maintain bowel movement.
Fluids help to keep the mouth clean and moist.
Fluids can be given through a straw (preferably flexible) or at a later stage, when the patient is very weak, gently squirted into the mouth with a syringe.
Both methods are suitable for a patient who cannot sit up.

Up to 70% of cancer patients suffer from nausea and / vomiting during the course of their illness.

Possible causes of nausea and vomiting:
• Side effects of medication
• Constipation
• Tumour, enlarged abdomen, inflammation of the stomach
• Chemical changes, kidney or liver failure
• Dehydration
• Increased pressure on the brain due to tumour
• Chemotherapy, radiotherapy

Helping to reduce nausea/ vomiting:
• Eat or drink small amounts
• Avoid food odours. Try cold foods such as sandwiches
• Avoid foods that are greasy, spicy, or too sweet
• Include foods such as lemonade, juices, soft drinks, plain biscuits (Marie or Cream Crackers)
• Or toast, and iced suckers (make your own with juice) or ice or flavoured ice blocks which can be crushed and sucked
• Drink as much fluid as possible to avoid dehydration
• Relax in an upright position after eating to aid digestion
• Eat in a pleasant environment.

Changes in taste: Can result from:
• Chemotherapy
• Medication
• Disease
• Deficiencies in protein, vitamins, zinc

Suggestions include:
• Foods that leave their own taste, e.g. fresh fruit mints
• Tart foods, e.g. citrus juices or lemonade to overcome to metallic taste
• Dairy products, egg or fish if meat is unappealing
• Using spices or sauces to enhance food flavour if taste sensation is decreased.

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