Who is feeding your loved one?

The same disabilities that prompted you to help your loved one to choose a nursing home in Alabama may also be making it difficult for him or her to manage eating utensils. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, the nursing home facility must designate a qualified person to provide this type of assistance to people who cannot feed themselves, but do not have swallowing problems or other complications. Medical professionals must determine whether your loved one is a candidate for this support.

A staff member does not have to have medical training to be a feeding assistant. However, a person who will be filling this role must undergo quite a bit of training. Safe food handling and feeding techniques and the Heimlich maneuver must be mastered. The information provided must include how to interact with residents and understand their behavior, as well as how to identify changes that may indicate a health problem. As a family member you do not have to complete a program.

When feeding assistants who are health care personnel are assisting residents with meals or hydration, they must not engage in any nursing-related tasks, even if there is an emergency. Instead, the supervisor who is overseeing the area must be called to deal with the issue. This may prevent potential hygiene-compromising situations. This information is provided to help you understand the requirements for filling the role of a feeding assistant in a nursing home. It is general in nature, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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