Old people with hoses taped to their noses

What’s with all the old people with hoses taped to their noses? I must see at least a half-dozen per day, often many more.

Do they tape hoses to the noses of old people back home? If they do, how come I don’t remember seeing them? Is it just that there are far more old folks on death’s doorstep in Taiwan who hang out in public parks with their nannies, whereas back home they’d be holed up inside a nursing home? Or are the Taiwanese firmer believers in nose hoses?

What purpose does it serve? I haven’t dared get close enough to really scrutinize one up close, but I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to do. Sometimes it seems the hose doesn’t go up the nostrils but appears to be taped to the end of the nose, which would be really strange. And even if it went up the shnoz, what would it be for? Oxygen? Doesn’t seem to be hooked up to an O2 tank, I don’t think. Do they drip medication down the nose? Why?

Anyway, it’s not all that important (except for those wearing the hoses, obviously), and I don’t mean any offense, but I just see a lot of these things and wondered if anyone knows what’s going on.

I have seen them. All that is left is their head and feet," he told The Associated Press. “By the evidence we can conclude the bombers were carrying the explosives around their waists.”

I see many a day. I think it’s wonderful. Go out and enjoy your life, no matter what. I’m sure it’s hooked up to an oxygen tank. A very small one. Or maybe it’s hooked back home, and they just remove the tank, but don’t want to keep on taking the hose out.

Usually a tube taped to one nostril will be a naso-gastric feeding tube. May have something to do with the relatively high level of stomach cancer in Taiwan. it could also be a post-stroke inability to swallow requiring feeding through a nasal tube. An oxygen tube is usually bifurcated, adjusts at the back of the neck and doesn’t require taping.

In the case of post-stroke naso-gastric tubes, it’s quite common for Taiwanese to take granny and gramps out for a family outing. Sadly it’s less common elsewhere, at least in my home country, Australia.


Thanks. I agree they’re fortunate to be sitting in the park rather than at home in front of the TV. Thank goodness for all the foreign help. I hope when I’m a dying old geezer I’ve got a 30 year-old Filipina to push me down to the park and give me a massage (though I hope I don’t have to take my meals through the nose).