Seniors With Chronic Constipation

April 14, 2022

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Our metabolisms naturally slow as we age, but when they grind to a stop, it may cause a great deal of pain and concern. Although most individuals prefer not to discuss their intestines, if left untreated, constipation may lead to major health issues such as fecal impaction, anal fissures, and stool incontinence. If you are taking care of your senior, constipation is something to watch. If you hire elder care to watch your parents, it is also something they should observe from a distance, and if they notice unusual habits emerging, a senior should talk to a doctor. 


Remember that elder care professionals are not doctors, but they can help a senior understand when it is time to seek medical attention. This can be a fantastic tool if you’re worried about your mom or dad aging in place instead of going to a senior nursing home. Dealing with constipation issues can be uncomfortable for seniors to discuss with their children, even if they’re adult children. 


You need to understand constipation, how it affects a senior, and what you can do to help them work through this. Sometimes constipation is fleeting, but chronic constipation can be worrisome and even painful for someone to deal with. When in doubt, always seek medical attention; a doctor could give you the right advice for a senior to follow. 

What Is Constipation?

Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements (BMs) per week consisting of a firm, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Frequent straining during BMs is also a sign. Constipation is often accompanied by stomach pain, bloating, and a sense of fullness or incomplete stool passage. 


This can happen to anyone at any age, but it can be especially difficult for seniors to discuss with others or talk openly about it. When it comes to bathroom usage, every person is different and will have regular bowel movements at various times. Some people go to the bathroom once or twice a day, while others go three to four. 


The best thing you can do is to observe how many times a senior typically go to the bathroom and if they start going less and less, try talking to them about it. 

What Causes Constipation In Seniors?

Many seniors who are battling with chronic constipation are impacted by a sluggish digestive system that is caused by their lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, these habits surrounding diet and exercise can be really hard to break without help. 


Sometimes new medications can cause chronic constipation so it is important for you to note all medications your parents are on and when their constipation started. If it is a side effect from a drug their doctor may change their prescription to something else. 

Can Chronic Constipation Be Cured?

Most doctors prefer to treat constipation conservatively at first, hoping that the problem might improve on its own. An early first step would be to encourage a person to eat more fiber, move more, and drink more fluids, particularly plain water. If it comes to it a doctor may suggest stool softeners to help get everything moving as it should or they may change a seniors daily medication to something else.

If you or your loved one is looking for Elder Care in Palo Alto, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990 

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990

Tags:ConstipationElder Care Palo Alto CA