My dad is in a nursing home and regularly having bowel issues and constipation as he is not moving very much due to his condition.
They keep giving him pharmaceutical laxatives to 'move' the digestive tract. But after drinking those he is having incontinence (not always though). I kind of don't see this as the best option in the long run.. :/
So I was wondering are there any really natural digestive remedies?
Or maybe some good-for-digestion food/snacks I could bring him the next time I visit?

I would really appreciate your help,
Thank you very much,


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In practice I wonder how much control you can possibly have over his diet in the nursing home, even if you provide something there is no guarantee he would eat/drink it and he is still getting his main sustenance from the facility menu.

The old fashioned advice still holds true - more whole grains, fruits and veggies, more fluids of any kind (this is often the #1 problem, people in the NH just don't drink enough), prunes and prune juice. You could ask about a probiotic being prescribed, that's the only way to ensure it will be given.

I'm popping back to add - you should bring this up at your care conference, staff may have some good ideas and it is always better to get them working with you to solve any problem.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to cwillie

Carlos, I would ask his doctor to prescribe magnesium supplements nightly.

These will help keep his system regular and it helps with many other body functions. (Milk of Magnesium is used for constipation and the active ingredient is the magnesium) I recommend using the magnesium supplement nightly and forget about the chemical additives that MOM has. Adding a 30mg zinc to the magnesium will give the added benefit of better sleep, the combination helps our bodies naturally produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.

This with the benefit of added fibers through his diet can help immensely with his problem.

Oh, a probiotic would be beneficial for his overall health as well.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Lulubell May 7, 2021
Why do you need a rX for magnesium?
See 1 more reply
My mil religiously had ten, no more no less, blueberries every night. (I mistakenly counted out eleven one night, you would have thought I was trying to poison her!)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to graygrammie

My dad had many issues with constipation mostly due to a fluid restricted diet. The palliative care team suggested a teaspoon of olive oil in the mornings. It helped a great deal! It gave the much needed moisture to his GI tract.
Metamucil can be added to smoothies to help also if your dad can get one.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to InFamilyService

Apple juice gets things moving for my dad. The protein drinks back him up terribly. I cut his first diet cranberry juice of the day with half apple juice, so it’s not a terrible amount of sugar, and it works.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Carolann2244

Foods with probiotics such as Kefir, yogurt can be helpful. Also foods with fiber. Such as apples or applesauce preferably the apple sauce should have no added sugars or natural.
My dad would drink shakes that had pureed cauliflower and pumpkin and it worked like a charm. It was flavorful and tasted like pumpkin pie for him.

1 cup of frozen pumpkin puree (I froze mine in ice cube trays the night before)
½ cup of frozen cauliflower florets
1 cup milk of choice
2 tablespoons of liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, honey, etc. Sugar free maple syrup can be used, but real syrup is best.)
1 tablespoon of nut butter (I used almond butter)
1 scoop of protein powder
Pinch of salt (or salt substitute)
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon. Pumpkin Pie spice is best)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Add more liquid, a couple tablespoons at a time, as needed to get the blender going.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to thingsarecrazy8

I have found dried prunes a tasty and effective addition to our diet. We are both nearly 80 years old. They don’t have to be refrigerated.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Sklilja

Dietary fat works for many people. Natural fats, that is. Butter, chicken legs, even fatty meats. Avocado and coconut oil, too.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Lilacalani

Try Psillium husk. Recommended by doctors for 80 years. It's the ingredient in Metamucil. It's MUCH less expensive, and you're not paying for the additives and advertising. Available online and in most health food stores.
Take as directed, which means enough water. It is possible some elders would object to the texture. Important to let it soften in the liquid you're mixing it in, but it only takes a minute at most or it gets unpleasantly thick. This route is probably only going to work for people who are not overly picky. (Most privileged persons, maybe.)
Available in capsules too, again, if you're happy spending extra money.
I eat a very high fiber diet, but still require this all natural supplement for my system to function regularly and comfortably.
It's not something I crave but takes less than a minute at most and has changed my life for the better.
Oh --- and I second the daily use of extra magnesium.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Lulubell
Lulubell May 7, 2021
Oh I see the answer in someone's reply: to help ensure the supplement is given by caregivers.
Any time my husband, me or my mom have issues, we eat chicken chop suey from a Chinese restaurant. My husband is not a fan but when he is asking for chinese, I know he's having an issue. Next morning, all fixed. Its one of those "believe it or not" things but it really does work for us. No chemicals or nasty tasting drinks, but works wonders for constipation.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ngaffigan

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