Mom hasn't had a bowel movement in about two days. -

Mom hasn't had a bowel movement in about two days.


Per the dr., I gave her a stool softener and two hours later had her go to the bathroom, but.....still no bowel movement. I'm concerned. Next move??? cadams

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One cup of hot water, 1/2 lime juice squeezed into the cup.
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Daughter 2 contributes:

"have they tried worn peas? But that might be quite a large volume."
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Cwillie- what about whirled peas? 😝
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Yeah, Rainmom: all we are saying, is give peas a chance.
Sorry about that. I did honestly see it graffitied on a highway gantry once and giggled all the way home.
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Who would have thought that peas had more fiber than veggies like broccoli or cauliflower? The poor pea doesn't get the respect it deserves!

Rainman loves peas as well but they can be a challenge for him to eat as he has dexterity issues. The pea salad I give him has a nice, light dressing that holds them together - so easier to eat. Probably a plus for an elderly person suffering from arthritis or has a tremor.

Anyhoo - good luck with it all. And remember that old saying "An apple a day..."
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Again thanks to you all. Who would've known there would be so much to know about such a topic....... To thenerd.....I got the beans and vegetables you mentioned to make that soup. It sounds terrific. You are an amazing caregiver that goes to extraordinary lengths to learn what foods work for your mom. She is blessed to have you! To Cwillie.....that is exactly my problem and confusion with this whole thing. Absolutely no changes in mom's life-no new meds, no different foods, no change in activity level. All is the same.....which leads me to believe her body itself is somehow going downhill in a new way and I think is causing much of the anxiety in me. To rainmom----I love the idea of the pea salad. Mom loves peas. I will definitely check that out.
If any of you get to St. Petersburg, Fl.....look me up and we'll all go out to lunch and have a howlin' good time talking about .....anything but poop!!! cadams
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Mmmm, I love bean soup :)

And yes, fiber supplements like Metamucil need to be taken with plenty of fluids so they often aren't the best choice for our elders, especially as their intake of food and fluids decreases.
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Hi cadams,

Glad it worked out in the end :-) pun intended. It is good to see the humor in things I think as well. As you mentioned it is amazing what a relief it is when they finally get a BM. Who ever would have thought we would cheer such an event, lol? I am sure many caregivers here have done the same. Yes, I'm so happy! :-) seriously, if she is ok and not in pain and doc says it's Ok, it will be easier for you if she has only one well formed, easy to clean BM every three days vs tiny messes several times a day.

I think the trick now is keeping her BMs regular as her body continues to change. It's different for everyone and requires some experimentation. Even their tastes change.

For me the pressure cooker now has been the workhorse cooking tool rather than crock pot or other stuff. Although a good one like instapot (about $70 to 150 on amazon) can do slow cooking, pressure cooking and even yogurt making and other stuff.

When I make the bean soup, I also put carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, celery, tomatoes and sometimes other veggies I have around. For myself and sometimes mom afterwards I'll add sliced chicken breast and some cheese (or sometimes sliced salami to it.

Sometimes if she has trouble chewing or doesn't like an ingredient I'll put the meal in a blender and serve it like a paste. Sounds gross but if the flavor is good she loves it and eats more. I was surprised she like it even more when I put vanilla whey protein in the mush.

The pressure cooker works not surprisingly by increasing the pressure in the closed pot which raises the boiling of the water. So the water doesn't boil until a much higher temp. The higher temp speeds up the cooking process remarkably and you can make great meals in no time at all. The fact that you dump stuff in and walk away is a great time saver and allows you to multitask.

The instapot comes with a little recipe book but googling "instapot and any dish" gives a lot of great recipes.

I think you can keep the mac and cheese and ALL those other foods in her diet, at your mom's age she sure deserves some simple pleasures like that! I haven't cut out any of my Mom's fav foods for her. I have found that even some constipating foods are OK in her diet so long as on that day or no later than the next day she is getting 14 grams of fiber/1000 calories consumed from natural food sources like veggies and fruits....and plenty of liquid (without fluids the fiber will be a problem). So try and have a rough idea of about how many calories she eats on a given day and make sure she gets that 14g fiber per 1000 calories.

My trick is when my mom is the most hungry I give her the healthy stuff to eat with veggies for fiber to make sure we get that in for the day. Then later meals might be the more delicious favorites.

Yes, it used to be such a hassle to make bean soup, soak, then cook and stir for hours. With the instapot I open the bag of beans, rinse them and throw them in the pot with all the other ingredients, walk away come back in an hour and it's ready! Unbelievable. I cook for 2 hours only because my mom needs the beans and skins very soft or she'll just spit out the skins.

Even Metamucil was constipating for my mom and shouldn't be. Maybe it's too much fiber in one shot and it formed more of a plug, not sure but nothing has worked as reliably as vegetables and beans of all kinds and so on on a regular basis now.

Instantpot is a brand name for an all-in-one pressure cooker, steam cooker, crock pot etc. there are other brands but I have only tried instantpot. I had bought the 6 quart Bluetooth one ( not necessary) and recently just bought an 8 quart one (non Bluetooth one) for $129 on amazon.

This one is $99 on amazon.

Here are some vegan recipes for instapot: the web is full of them, from making ribs to vegan stuff


Enjoy! You're doing great! And your sincere concern for your mom and running to urgent care and worrying so much after only two days :-) speaks to your good character and how loving you are! Don't forget to take care of yourself too! Best wishes to you and your loved ones and all!
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Since this is her first experience with constipation I'd spend some time contemplating what the cause might have been. Any new meds? Different foods? A change in her activity levels?
A diet rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains is best for all of us of course, and the advice to get enough fluids is bang on too. Hope this was just one of those things and doesn't become a pattern for her, but if it does there are many threads full of advice and lots of experts here!
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Unfortunatly this is a subject I know way more than I'd like to. But I'm gonna stick towards fiber rather than pooping remedies - although fiber is probably the best pooping remedy.

A woman over age 50 needs roughly 21-30 grams of fiber a day. It depends on total calorie intake and activity level. Keep in mind that too much fiber can cause constipation as well as too little.

Easiest rule to remember- stay away from food that is white. This includes things made with white flour and dairy.

The most surprising high fiber food I've found is the pea. Yep - one cup of cooked green peas has nearly 9 grams of fiber - more than almost any vegetable besides some beans and the artichoke. Find a good recipe for a pea salad on line. My deli sells a pea salad that is amazing - check around at your local grocery stores that have a deli.

A good whole wheat bread has 3 grams of fiber a slice. If you can get your mom to eat a whole sandwich and an apple - 4g - for lunch, you're almost half way to goal in one meal.

Salads can be good for sneaking in high fiber and/or high protein goodies but if you're gonna use iceberg lettuce- forget it. You'd get more fiber and nutrition eating the wrapper the lettuce came in.

While yogurt is dairy and dairy constipates - find a good yogurt with active probiotics to help keep the gut balanced. I put a tablespoon of Benefiber in Rainmans nightly yogurt to help lessen the dairy evil.

Lastly is the advice that always annoyed me the most - water. And more water. Then after that - serve some water. It's tough to get a lot of water in - I think even the average person struggles with it - but it is true. Staying properly hydrated is essential for avoiding constipation.
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