Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hard to Swallow

I used to work at a day program where some of the folks who came there were on what’s known as a soft mechanical diet. This basically means that any of the food these people eat needs to be pureed or liquefied before feeding it to them. Generally, the reason a person is put on such a diet by their Doctor is that they are at risk of choking or aspiration (food making its way into the lungs).

If memory serves me, all these people lived in either foster care or group homes. You wouldn’t believe what some of these folks would show up with for snacks we were expected to feed them. Ham sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, corn muffins, tortilla and potato chips, cookies; definitely not stuff that would even remotely be considered as soft mechanical.

If this isn’t a clear form of medical neglect, I don’t know what is. And even though management was aware of this, there was no repercussion. This is the sort of thing you consistently run into when you work with people having developmental disabilities.

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