Help clear up the confusion around this life saving medical procedure.
Tube feeding, also known as enteral nutrition, is a way of getting food into your body if you cannot eat for any reason. Liquid formula is given through a tube into the stomach or small intestine.
Because tube feeding is not a particularly pleasant experience, especially for children, Feeding Tube Awareness Week was launched to promote the positive benefits of feeding tubes and this article looks at what the week involves and what you can do to show your support.
What is Feeding Tube Awareness Week?
Held nationally each year in February, Feeding Tube Awareness Week helps to raise awareness of those living with feeding tubes and the daily challenges they face, and rather than focus on the negatives, it celebrates the positives of these life-saving medical devices.
Organised by Australian charity ausEE Inc, Feeding Tube Awareness Week is designed to raise awareness and also to bring together Australians who could use some help and support in caring for someone with a feeding tube. It aims to educate as many people as possible over a week-long period using any and every means available, from meetings and fundraising events to social media campaigns and coverage by local media outlets.
What's on for 2017?
Feeding Tube Awareness Week 2017 will be held from 6–10 February and this year ausEE Inc has partnered with Facebook support group AU Tubie Support to give the event a particularly strong online focus. Everyone will be creating Facebook and Twitter campaigns, writing blog posts, sending emails, chatting in online forums and generally getting the feeding tube awareness message out into the digital universe. People are also encouraged to organise offline events during the week.
What sort of online activities can I do?
- Write a blog sharing your experience with feeding tubes, whether you have used one yourself or you have a family member or friend who has benefited from one.
- Make a video about tube feeding to spread awareness and share it on social media and even with local news media.
- Share the Feeding Tube Awareness Week website on Facebook or Twitter.
- Change your Facebook or Twitter profile pic to one about Feeding Tube Awareness Week.
- Post or Tweet using the hashtag #feedingtubeawarenessweek.
How can I get involved?
There are lots of other ways to get involved with the Feeding Tube Awareness Week campaign and some of these might include:
- Share Feeding Tube Awareness Week material and information with your local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and ask them if you can put a message about FTAW on their noticeboards.
- Give a presentation to your class or local school, as some students may already be familiar with tube feeding and may be willing to share their experiences.
- Contact the Health Editor of your local newspaper and suggest that they do a piece on tube feeding. Ideally it would focus on the positive benefits of enteral nutrition and dispel some of the myths and negative impressions about tube feeding.
- Host a gathering of friends and family, a neighbourhood barbecue, a get-together with local tube feeding families or a rally, sporting event or fundraiser during Feeding Tube Awareness Week.
- If you are a small to medium business, a corporation or a health-related organisation, become a FTAW sponsor and promote it in your literature and company newsletter.