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My 93 year old mother has been in assisted living for almost a year. She does nothing all day, except complain about being constipated. I have had her to her Dr. several times, and he always checks her out and says that there is no medical problems causing it, she is just very sedentary and needs more fiber. She will not listen to what anyone tells her and gets angry if I won't take her to the Dr./emergency room because she has not had a bowel movement in a couple of days.

How do I deal with this? I find myself hating to call or visit, because I know that all we will talk about is her constipation and that she thinks she will die from it.

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bless her heart this has obviously become an obsession to her... I would encourage you to get her on a stool softner and also either Miralax or Benefiber daily. Yes she probably needs both of them. Has she had this problem for years? She may feel like this is something she has some control over when she has no control over anything else. She probably does not drink enough liquids or have enough fiber in her diet. There is a juice called Plum Smart that is much more tasty than prune juice you could try some of that too..My Dad had this problem for years, he always talked about the dynomite he took... It was actually dulcolax tablets. hope this helps... take care J
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I just had another thought! My SIL would give her Fiber One cereal on top of giving her Miralax. After I learned that, I cut the Miralax doseages down to 3/4 x/wk. because it would cause Mt. Vesouvious to erupt. She didn't have that happening to her too much, because she gave it to her hours before she went home.
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Also, coffee helps my bowels move. Maybe it would help her.
Good luck!
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Marty,

My MIL is on Miralax (it can be written as an RX by the doctor--she has the generic--polyethelene glycol). All I would do, when she was here before the NH, was mix it in with some water, applesauce (it is sweet tasting, so I got the no sugar added applesauce). She would take it. Within 15 min.-1/2 hr. she would have a BM. We had her on coconut milk (but since that does the same thing as Miralax, she didn't get the Miralax). The coconut milk will cause some weight gain. After a while, we noticed her acting not like herself--aside from the anti-epileptic meds that caused combativeness--but after a while we discontinued the coconut milk due to it interacting with some of the meds she was on at the time. You can get coconut milk in a
'Crisco-like' form at Wal-Mart. You can even cook with it. I would make her grilled cheese sandwiches and wouldn't have to use 'non-cooking spray' with it. Very rarely, would we have to give her MOM (Milk of Magnesia). Yeah, some of her meds did have the side effect of constipation. You have to watch her diet too. She shouldn't have any lite yogurt or diet drinks (not good for people her age). Actually, it's not good for anyone. Anyhow, as I was saying, watch her diet--if someone takes her out, find out what she had for a meal and to drink. Reason being, that can either cause constipation or Mt. Vesouvious.
One night, I served Spaghetti and Meat sauce, she had never pooped outside of the bathroom--my husband left her alone for 10 minutes and when he went back downstairs to see how she was coming along with her meal, he found her rolling a 'meatball' in her hand. You talk about panic-stricken and gross. From then on, someone always ate downstairs with her.
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Maybe she needs something to relax her so she does not absess over this but if she won't follow the docs instructions she may enjoy haveing a problem that she is able to talk nonstop about, Maybe the only thing you can do is limit your time with her or just say that subject is not to be brought up,
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My mother and mother-in-law have obsessed with this for years. My mother-in-law took everything/ she could to help but nothing did the trick. My mother on the other hand takes Miralax every morning in her coffee and it works for her. When she was in the hospital, it wasn't available so they tried Milk of Magnesia, drinking hot liquids, prune juice, apple juice etc. until I finally brought my mother's Miralax bottle in from home. My mother added it to her coffee in the morning and within a day or two it started working again.
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Miralax works well and is over the counter now... It is an osmotic and it helps to move things through... I would try that!!! Oatmeal always works for me or a little applesauce is good too..
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Hello. My 86 yrs old mother had severe BM problems. Hadn't pooped in days. I've given suppositories, enemas, stool softener, laxative to cure the problem for a couple of days, but back to the same problems days after. Milk of Magnesia didn't work for her. It was a continuous cycle for months.

Her Dr said use fiber, give more water, give more fruits. No good, nothing seems to work. Finally, the doctor said to give her Phillips Caplets Laxatives Dietary Supplement 2x day (500 mg Manesium). I had asked "isn't that too much?" "no", was his replay. Senior's intestine and colin muscles atrophy with age. They can't push the stuff out, no matter how much water they drink or fiber they take. When you use a laxative daily, she shouldn't have constipation problems. It's been a great using the laxative caplets daily-No more poop problem.

My mom began to have anxieties for she was finally becoming having normal BM. "Somethings wrong, I go to the bathroom and have a BM", she would stress. I told her that it's normal to go everyday and don't worry about it. (I've been care giving for almost 4yrs and constantly doing the BM problem.) Now it's no longer an issue.
Good luck to you.
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It is a relief to know I am not the only one going through this. It seems like they worry about it too much, but when your constipated it makes you feel terrible. My mom has emphysema copd, so it makes it harder on her breathing when she is constipated. I try to give her a high fiber eng muffin every day and sometimes raisin bran does the trick, if that fails we do stool softeners. But I do understand how obsessive they get on wether or not they had a BM or not and glad I am not the only one having a daily discussion about it. Have a great day!
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LOL...Sorry to laugh, but Mom does the same thing. As soon as we get the BM's under control, up pops another issue. Phantom pains that she can't quite tell me where they are located. If we get the pain controlled then she's upset because she can't figure out the remote. Tells me I keep changing them on her. I don't think there is anyway to please elderly people.

Is it just me, or are aging parents really just 2 year olds with a better vocabulary?
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My mother was obsessed with this before she went into the nursing home. Now at the nursing home they are giving her something that is causing the opposite problem and she has to wear depends all the time. However, she is feeling better and not as sluggish, and no more episodes of diverticulitis. I guess it is best to keep things moving. It does not help that she has to share a bathroom with three other women, she complains a lot about lack of privacy and having to wait to get into the bathroom. Yes, I have tried to get her a private room, but they want $700 more which we can't afford.
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Same problem here! Mom made this topic the most important issue of the day-- and everyday. After being hospitalized for diverticulitis and given medications which were totally inappropriate for her (Librax and Levaquin), she lost all sense of taste and developed chest pains and delerium.

Her problem was she had never eaten a balanced diet-- and at 105 pounds feared gaining weight. She is 84! The solution was a high fiber diet and Metamucil in capsule form. She would not take the liquid variety.

It is a pleasant experience to have breakfast with her now! No more constant talk about the size, frequency, shape, color... of bowel movements. Naturally, she will now focus on some other ailment-- but at least it's something new!
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put put put POOP!
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bobbie: A "stuttering motorboat" heh, heh,...that image made me laugh out loud (no disrespect to your mom)...aren't BM conversations just the best :o)
Lilli
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One more thing: Your mother can add a measured scoop of CITRUCEL to the two glasses of water, if she likes, but the water by itself works great. She could try the water alone first. I read about this somewhere and it is revolutionary!
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Hello "marry"---Here is your answer to constipation ( for your mother or anyone): Have your mother drink TWO large glasses of water ( or a glass and a a half at minimum) FIRST THING when she gets up in the morning. This needs to be before she eats or drinks anything else. If she drinks coffee, the coffee can come afterward, and that will help to get things going too. Good Luck!
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I really like Lilliput's ideas and am going to use some of that. Thanks Lilliput!

my mom won't move enough so I give her a stool softener once in a blue moon and it works well.

We also do fresh carrot juice, yogurt and lots of greens.

Our goal is for mom to drop a deuce at least once a day.

We know that it's working when mom stands up and sounds like a stuttering motorboat on her way to the head.

good luck

Bobbie
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I am so glad to know that my mom is not the only one obsessed with this. They can worry you to no end! I now give my mom a stool softener every evening (the doctor said she could take 2 per day, if needed and Milk of Magnesia every 3rd day). This has solved her problem and for that, we are greatful.
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Been the constipated route with my mom, then the solution to that means the opposite. One thing that worked quickly was actually a treat, red table grapes. For more enjoyment, pop them in the freezer, instant popsicles. Try them yourself and see what level it reaches for noticable results...then back off.

What I practically live on these days, grab when I am rushing around the kitchen, are ginger snaps, particularly the Trader Joe's triple ginger snaps, available in hard or thin soft kinds. Eat enough of those and you have near perfection, in THAT department anyway! ;-) Anyway, look for treats, not cures. Whatever would she do if it worked.

Remember my mom's life when I first arrived to care for her. She would not go OUT anywhere because she HAD to hug the toilet, HER toilet. She was a medical assistant, think she would have learned a few things, but nope...
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Thank you for your comments...my Mom told my sister today that when she went to a doctor a "few years ago" he would give her enemas and that is the only thing that she believes in. Well the doctor she is referring to has been dead for over 40 years and things have changed a great deal in the intervening years, but we just cannot convince her to give some of the things you suggested a try. I bought her the Danactive a couple of weeks ago and she refused to even try it.

I do appreciate the suggestions, and will keep trying. It is helpful just having someone to listen and understand...my poor husband has had his fill of me venting about my mother and her BM's!
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Mom is OBSESSED with BMS! Hospice states that 5 days of no BM is when they try and do something. The way the nurse explained it to me and mom is that she is sedentary, on a few meds with constipation as a side effect, and that she needs to eat better. We tried prunes, prune juice, wheat germ, more fruit, more greens....Dr. prescribed senna and that has helped. For almost 2 years we've done the BM dance. I finally decided to try the Danactive yogurt challenge. It works. Both me and mom first thing in the morning, we have coffee and a danactive. With in about 1 hour she has a BM. It took about a week and a half to start working, and if we forget one, we notice it the next day. I can't guarantee it will work for anyone else, but it works for us. Happy BMs everyone
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My mother was absolutely convinced that her doctor had the "magic pill" that would cure her constipation. I prefer natural remedies so I told her repeatedly that it was more of an everyday, preventative, kinda thing that she had to do. But no, she kept going back to the doctor and calling nurse help lines. Of course they are pill oriented and gave her either prescriptions or OTC remedies that worked for a short time then the problem returned - or worse yet, she used harsh enemas. She even had a prolapse from forcing...that still did not stop her.
After YEARS of trying to convince her she finally gave my suggestions a try. I bought her flax seed flour (she cannot swallow the seed) to put in her yogurt, muffins, soups, oatmeal, etc. Also, a teaspoon of olive oil first thing in the morning works as needed. I buy her high fiber breads, crackers, granola, etc. Coconut milk is a laxative too. She has not had problems since. I told her that I would, "send her my bill." :o)
The thing is, it that it is a lifestyle change so I do not know what to tell you to get your mother to cooperate. Sometimes, when Mom is feeling well, she decides that she does not need to do it anymore...then the constipation returns...so now, I think I have her convinced.
Constant constipation is just so bad for you. You build up toxins in your body so no wonder your mother is feeling cranky and uncomfortable.

good luck
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