My biggest challenge as caregiver for my dementia wife is keeping her regular each day. Anyone have a sure way?

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I give her 6 prunes each morning with her Ensure. But she goes days without a bowel movement, then when I give her a laxative, I have one big mess on my hands that can go on for hours.

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My mom never went every day but after a week she would have a huge (large formed) bm. We had the great pleasure and luxury of a doctor for the homebound. She suggested that we give a stool softener with each meal. My mom was not much of a drinker so she told us to stay away from the miralax cause it could have the opposite effect if fluid intake was low. If that still did not work she said to give glycerin suppository and lastly, bisacodyl suppositories. If I would see or smell that mom was ready to go, we would sit mom on the potty and encourage her to push. As moms dementia progressed the doctor said that the muscles used for a BM were not that strong and that mom just forgot how to push to get it out. Make sure feet are firmly planted on the floor, this made a major difference. Good luck this is not an easy issue but a common one.
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Stay away from laxatives. Dad has Parkinson's and can't move quickly. I know what your talking about nightmare messes. Give Miralax a scant teaspoon every day, not the full dose. It will soften the stool. My Dad takes colace stool softeners one a day. Every 3rd day if he hasn't gone on his own, I place a washable large pad on top of a towel over the bed. Dad lays down, an I put a fleet suppository in his rectum. I wait 15 minutes if it hasn't kicked in yet, I use a fleet liquid glycerin suppository. It is little, not the big enema, it comes 4 to a box. It will work quickly, so be prepared. i place a small towel over his butt, and hold careful not to push. so I don't have messes on floor. As soon as it starts to kick in move towards the toilet you have about 2 minutes. If the toilet is too far away get a bedside commode. It is fast, with the tiny bit of miralax soft, and painless. This advise took months of experimentation, but it works for us. I don't fight Dad if he is tired or doesn't want it, I don't push until it is the 5th day. Make sure you use latex gloves. It was okayed by the Dr. Also I put a glass of water wherever Dad is, this helps a lot.

I admire you for your devotion to your wife. What a wonderful man you are. I hope this helps.
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My mother adds Miralax to a drink each morning. It helps a lot and is one of the more gentle laxatives. It was prescribed by her doctor, but can also be bought OTC at any store.
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Discuss this with her doctor. The prunes are good, and there are probably a few other things to try. And if a laxative is needed, get the doctor's advice about the most gentle.

It is normal for some people to go more than once a day and for others every second or third day is normal. Are you sure your wife needs to have a bm each day?

I hope you are able to resolve this issue. It can be a real challenge!
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