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Mom will complain that she has been in the bathroom all night but by 3 pm she's complaining because she can't go. This is everyday. The Dr prescribed a laxative but I cut those back and have her drink prune juice which seems to work most of the time. This is a constant daily battle. Is there anything I can do to help her??


I don't understand why she thinks she has to poop so much.

First I don't think anyone should change Dr prescribed medication. A lot of people become physically dependant on laxatives so she very well may be constipated more than normal.
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Reply to SparkyY
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I don't believe in laxatives. The body comes to depend on them, then doesn't do the job its suppose to. Everytime Mom was in the hospital they started her on stool softens and laxatives. I asked why. because she didn't go every day I was told. She never went every day. Her dr. said if she goes 2 days without going, then give her Phillips. And it now comes in pill form. Really, that was the only thing that worked on her. Miralax was too harsh for her.

I prayed that she didn't go everyday. I hated the clean up.
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97yroldmom Apr 30, 2019
JoAnn
if a person has used laxatives for years, they have to have them. I asked a gastro one time if it was possible to retrain a person to go without. I was told yes, but it would take as long as the person had been on laxatives to correct. I was asking for my MIL. She had been on them all her life she claimed. Doubtful but it got me over suggesting she stop. My aunt is her sister. ( aunt in law). After a weekend of ER visits due to impaction I was a believer. It was a constant battle until she started the polyethylene. You can believe in laxatives or not. At 92 she needs them. No problems now.
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Your profile says that your mother has dementia. That causes the brain to not work properly. The patient may get fixated on various things, have delusions, misreport things, etc. Is she still in the AL? I'd think that they monitor her BMs and are able to determine if she needs a laxative. I'd honor the doctor's recommendation, but, I can't imagine he would advise giving laxatives to a person who is not in need of them. If she is worried and anxious, I'd discuss this with the doctor to see if she could benefit from medication to help with that.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Polyethylene glycol 350 is the prescription form of miralax.
Taken Daily took care of the problem for my aunt. Prescribed by a gastroenterologist.
She also takes probiotics with her breakfast. She had a lifelong habit of abusing laxatives. It is no longer an issue. This for at least two years.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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There may not be much you can do about your mother's focus on bowel movements. My father with vascular dementia often complained about constipation and then diarrhea in the same day. A little additional questioning revealed Dad thought more than 2 BMs was diarrhea. Dad was taking pain medication that could cause constipation and he would refuse to eat or drink anything that could offset the problem (more fiber, prune juice, etc). After Dad went into MC with medication management that included fiber pills and stool softeners this problem diminished a lot, but he would continue to be concerned over his poop. I viewed this as a "feature" of his dementia.
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