PEGs are excessively utilized in the elderly at the terminal stages of life, without a proper awareness of the risks and benefits involved. This presentation will offer an understanding of the short-term and long-term outcomes following PEG placement. An approach to the discussions that take place prior to placement, the indications, alternatives, and contraindications to tube placement will be provided. Ethical aspects and outcomes will be discussed.
When feeding difficulties arise, feeding tubes are not the recommendation for older adults with advanced dementia. Careful hand feeding should be offered, because hand feeding has been shown to be as good as tube feeding in terms of outcomes, including mortality, aspiration pneumonia, functional status, and comfort.