Elderly mother obsessed with bowel movements/constipation.

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I know I've mentioned this before, but it's getting worse. My 88 year old mother's
obsession with her constipation is getting totally out of control. It's a daily subject
with her. We could have never ending talks about constipation. Her bowel movements have been irregular for years. It seems like no amount of stool softners or fiber or certain food will help. Only the dreaded milk of mag. Prune juice sometimes and the same goes with laxatives. My mother gets downright rude and angry with me over this......as though it's my fault she can't poop. Cussing is very common when she goes into her "constipation rampage". I just thought I would write about this to let you all know that the curse of caregiving
continues on strongly every day of my life.

72 Comments

baked beans all beans are great for it!
I'm telling you...ACTIVIA yogurt. My mom was given all kinds of stuff for constipation...nothing worked, she still complained. I finally got the yogurt, because I was desperate to try anything at that point to stop my mom's complaining, and within 2-3 days(not weeks) her plumbing was unclogged...and how! Yikes! But it works...yes indeed, does it ever work....
Does she get any exercise? And Water?
Has her thyroid level been checked lately? My dad (88) was having chronic constipation that we attributed to all his medications until his last round of blood tests at his regular checkup showed his thyroid level was low. He is now taking a low dose of generic synthroid and his bowel movements are much more regular.
My husband got so constipated that he developed a very bad strain of a bacteria virus. It is important to get her on a regular schedule for her bowel movements. It put my husband in ICU and we almost lost him due to the virus and then he ended up developing pneumonia from having to lay in bed so long. It really does make them grumpy. I would suggest you talk to the doctor and tell the doctor what is going on. They may prescribe a prescription stool softener and a laxative to take. This way she may feel more comfortable that the doctor is also keeping an eye on the situation. It was also found that one of his prescriptions that he was on had that side effect (constipation). Wishing you well and keep up the good caregiver work! I know it is very hard at times.
Also you may want to find out when she had her last colonoscopy. There may be a blockage of some sort.
My mom has this problem too with the Stage 4 PD it's becoming more and more problematic. We try everything but I haven't tried the Activia. (Mom's gotten real picky @ food. She used to love yogurt now she doesn't as with pretty much many foods she once loved. Maybe I should have her thyroid level checked too I don't know. I blame PD for pretty much everything wrong with mom. (Physically, mentally and emotionally).
This just came up on my computer. Here a website that may help your mothers situation. Hope it helps!
13 Surprising Causes of Constipation
You may already know that a lack of dietary fiber can cause constipation. But there are many less-obvious factors that threaten regularity. Do any of these sneaky constipation causes apply to you?
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
I can relate to this issue. It has gotten so bad with hubby that we have gone to ER quite a few times to get "a clean out" That is a last resort because by this time,he is in severe pain. We have tried it all too. Laxatives, stool softeners, fiber but sometimes nothing works. My opinion is that he is too focused on this but that is my opinion only. It is our daily topic of conversation.
More water! Elderly people don't drink enough water. Also.. glycerin suppositories with help get things going.
Standing alone is correct.. Activia yogurt is very good AND if you could get your mum moving/walking around that will help also. Fibre and lots of water are the best. Glycerin suppositories are very helpful especially if you coat them with a bit of anusol ointment! It's a bummer :-)

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