How does one know if a loved one has constipation?

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How does one know if the loved one has constipation? With diarrhea, it is extremely messy but you know about it. But with constipation, not so easy to know.

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Savitaa - look up the Bristol Bowel Index - rates 1 to 7 but 3,4,5 are optimal - pretty clear to use
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A little over a month ago my mother was admitted to the hospital from the nursing home because she became nauseated with brown vomit. (I wasn't even aware this could happen!) In the hospital they determined she had fecal compaction and she was given a couple Fleet enemas which eventually worked. She was able to go back to the nursing home the next day. So far, so good since then.
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My 90 y.o. dad complains about being backed up all the time. I have to ask him a few times a day if he's drinking water (he usually isn't because he thinks he should drink when he's thirsty instead of because it helps) and if he's taken the Miralax the doctor prescribed. I've never had so many conversations about poop as I've had since I moved in with him 2 years ago. He thinks I can just give him Phillips Milk of Mag often to "explode him out" and I won't do it unless he's done all the other things and THEN waited at least a day. I don't want him dependent on that when drinking water, taking at least some walks, and drinking Miralax can fix the problem. At least for now!
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Sometimes it can appear a person as loose bowels when in fact it is "leakage" and they are in fact constipated with the bowel blocked so only the fluidy faeces is passed. As well as all the above suggestions drinking water is beneficial in so many ways including helping bowel movement.
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I did several things when my mom lived with us. She got daily fiber, I kept a calendar with record of BM's. I also disabled the flusher on the toilet when she was independent with going to the bathroom. I did find that one half capful of Miralax was about right when she was constipated. Good luck!
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I took care of my mom at home and I would track everything on a calendar because it's hard to remember everything :) which worked beautifully so that way I didn't stress over remembering or not.
Constipation was a big problem with mom. Added fiber didn't help. Used Miralax everyday, helped at first then didn't work. Then went to milk of magnesia and pureed prunes. That worked most of the time. Always had suppositories on hand and used them from time to time.
I was told a BM is needed every other day. Mom went once 5 days and ended up in ER to be manually cleaned out. That was horrible and I made sure that never happened again. And it didn't. Hope that helps. Good luck
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As 97yroldmom stated, there will be signs - bloating is a sign of a possible blockage.
Pain is always a sign of something - and blockage will cause pain.

You can "google" signs of constipation and then you will know what the signs are at least.
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I have a log and a pen for the month, posted on the bathroom wall, and we all use it.
List 1-31 indicating size (S, M, L) and type (hard, soft, loose, regular) ie. M/R
then I know what is needed.
I can send the form to anyone who needs one......word document
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For Mom, we learned to assume that if we do nothing, she will get constipated and, eventually, impacted. So with the doctor’s recommendation, we do a half-capful of Miralax in one of her drinks every other day and she has gotten as regular as clockwork. (We started with a whole capful every day and that was too much for her.) Even if it gets skipped once in awhile, the overall schedule still serves well. It’s tasteless and dissolves well, so no trouble with resistance. AND Mom knows how prone she is to constipation and how uncomfortable/painful it is, so she doesn’t fight it on that basis either. Hope you find a solution that eases your mind and your caregiving duties.
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I will probably have opposite problem as I have microscopic colitis, and without Imodium every other day I and my bed would be a mess (movements generally come around 3 a.m. My daughter does know about this, so I presume she would see that I got the Imodium. I haven't told my son as I figure he won't be involved in my care. My daughter is an R.N.
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