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Her happiness seems to depend on a daily bm. Is this common and how do I discourage her from talking about it constantly. She says, "I know you don't want to hear" and then describes the event anyway.

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A lot of meds cause constipation - try a little prune whip for dessert

I think my psych 101 course said pooping was a basic satisfying need like eating or sleeping - if she can't go and is grouchy maybe it's understandable
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Actually your poop is a sign of your health. Both the frequency and how it is. Perhaps she has concerns and that is why she shares. Or that it was good and she wants you to know. I definitely wouldnt be disrespectful by doing the lalalalal method (while it made me laugh as there are times I'd love to do that).

My dementia father in law was constipated and has been known to use his finger to get his poop out. Ended up in the hospital from constipation. I'd listen to thise stories to head off a serious health issue.

Another thing to consider, since she points out she knows you don't want to hear it...perhaps shes doing it to see your reaction? If you start paying attention, stop 'yucking out' about it she might stop. Either way, I'd show respect...and be at least somewhat interested as it is a sign of her health. And if nothing else, gives you a story to share and laugh with others.
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With me it's my HUSBAND who's giving me a daily bowel report. He's been suffering from constipation recently, which is now clearing up but he keeps telling me all about it. Honestly it's really putting me off him.
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oops ------------
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TWO WORDS - MOVE OUT!
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I absolutely hate all of this. I think i am going to lose my mind. I will make sure that my children know that they better put me in a nursing home when i can't take care of myself.
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Makes me sick. I think they are like children, that have to be reminded of what is appropriate.
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Anita - BOY DO I AGREE - my 90 year old father - who is in EXCELLENT health for his age - eats very little meat (steers clear of red meats) - he actually prefers veg meals or occasionally fish....always drinks unsweetened green tea, oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast for the last 30 years, likes fresh fruit and everything is in moderation. No meds (except for an enlarged prostate). Takes a centrum vitamin every day. Exercises 5 days week - including lifting 25lb weights. Takes a daily walk.

His blood pressure is just fine, no heart issues, cholesterol count is lower than mine (I'm 55), blood work came back near perfect, vision is pretty good despite cataracts, circulation is in fine order, bowels regular,,,walks without any kind of aid - he can out-pace 70-year-olds. His mind is clear and sharp. The only thing that is shot is his hearing - but that's a result of a service-related injury.

My son's a Vegan. I'm thinking of hopping onto that wagon!
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As we approached 50, I moved my hubby and I moved to a plant-focused mostly vegetarian diet, after reading Dr Andrew Weil's book "8 Weeks to Optimum Health". We now have MANY meals that no one "had to die for". AND we are both in good health - great blood pressure, take no prescription meds, healthy weights (yes, we'd like to lose that extra 10 lbs) - at 60 and 65 yo. Healthy digestive systems - never a problem.

Eat more fruits and veggies, and less meat, and everyone in your home will be feeling better. My almost 93 yo MIL who lives with us also rarely has an issue.
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Years ago it was taught that having a daily bowel movement was necessary and a sign of good health. It's a hard habit/belief to break for many elderly people who become hyper focused on their health in their limited daily world. They're looking for signs and symptoms of health or illness. Additionally, the use of laxatives can become like an addition for some. Some people have taken them so much they can no longer have a normal bm without the use of laxatives.

Digging out of poop? Often done when someone is severely constipated especially from taking some types of medications or having a poor diet.
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I used to travel 1,400 miles two to 3 times a year to discuss Mom's BMs with her. That, and how horrible the food is at the Independent Living facility my parents lived in. And then there were the weekly phone calls that were more about her BMs than anything else (like how I was doing.)

I guess that when you become elderly there's a point when the focus in your life becomes pretty darn narrow for some folks. BMs are one of those focuses. LOL

I do want to mention that one of the posts I read talked about a MIL digging the poop out with her fingers. My Mom did that, too - it's pretty common. BUT Mom refused to wear the surgeon's gloves my sister gave her to use - my sister's a CNA and got her a huge box of 'em. Mom ended up with a colon infection (we think she may have cut herself inside the rectum with her fingernails when "digging"). The infection was the catalyst to her death - infection spread, eventually got to her heart...etc. So try to get Mom to use gloves, because I don't think you can talk her out of not digging.

You know,,,,despite the fact that my sister & I used to laugh about the all-important BM REPORT & UPDATE - I'd give just about anything to be able to sit with Mom for one more conversation....even if it was to discuss her bowels.
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When my dad moved in he went in to great detail about his bathroom experiences. I kept telling him TMI but to no avail. Pretty son I stopped responding completely as if I didn't hear him, after a couple of weeks he stopped sharing. (His dementia is still mild.) Now that he is taking iron supplements, I ask him every few days if he had gone just to make sure things aren't backing up.
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You can't understand why, as a caregiver, that I would be bothered that she needs to tell perfect strangers at a restaurant that she and her dog both are having bowl issues?????? Are you out of your freaking mind? It bother's me greatly - AS IT SHOULD!

My mother is on about six different types of laxatives (some prescribed by 3 different doctors! Even after I tell them about the other prescriptions) and is having hourly pure water stools, yet she thinks she is constipated because her "gut" hurts. OMG - I'm at my wits end. I keep trying to talk calmly and rationally about it with her, but she truly believes this liquid BM is bypassing or somehow 'wiggling' around her impaction in order to become a liquid state!

She won't eat properly and uses the fact that her liquids are limited due to heart failure (although she doesn't drink even the daily allotment!) to account for the liquid bowel constipation.

She is very self-centered so I think I will try the tact that I heard such and so was having the same problem, but they have now had a very large and successful BM and are no longer bothered by it after the same treatment regime that she has been on - she hates to be out done, so this just might be the answer!

Thank you all for your advise and believe me - I can sympathize with each and every one!
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My Dad was having issues with bowel movements until I bought him some prune juice.... guess you can say that topic ran its course. I think some elders talk so much about their health is because they don't have anything else to talk about. My parents live on their own, so they have just each other to talk to and Mom is almost deaf.

I'm trying to get Dad to subscribe to high speed internet and cable TV so he would have other interest beside which knee is hurting today.... [sigh]
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My mom went through that too. For about 4 years she obsessed about her bowels saying she was constipated and would overdose on Milk of Magnesia and then get the runs. It got so bad she had several accidents and she would have 2 or 3 bottles of the stuff hidden all over her apartment. (and she was very clever, moving it around, etc) It drove us nuts, because as her dementia got worse, she couldn't remember things. One minute she would say she had diarrhea and 1/2 hour later she would say she hadn't gone in 4 days. Then, all of a sudden, it stopped. She is in the middle stages of alzheimers and doesn't remember she was worried about her bowels so we don't know if she goes or not, but she isn't buying MOM any more.
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Wow! I thought this was unique to my mil! Nice to know I'm not alone.
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Not to mention that you had to hand wash diapers back in the 1920's when my mom was born. My mother's obsession is diarrhea. Her doc helped me by pointing out that this eas actually still a fatal disease when mom was a girl. (Still is in most of the world)
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I'm still chuckling about the "How's your vagina today?" LOL
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That is very typical of that age group, because they were raised with a concern from their parents about it. I recall my dad (in his 50's when I was born) always asking me-and his grandkids as well--if we'd had a movement that day. He would sit on the pot every morning doing a crossword puzzle or reading until it happened. These folks were raised with the belief that it was absolutely essential to move it daily. It may also be partly due to the emphasis on early potty training and dry diapers back in the day of cloth diapers and inadequate rubber pants--I recall older relatives showing me thick knitted wool "soakers" that they would use over the diapers. In the days that a wet and/or poopy diaper meant changing a smelly baby from the skin out it was not surprising that a lot of attention was paid to bathroom habits.
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my dad is just the same and also has a catherter that he sits and watches fill up all day long. he is constantly talking about his bowel movements and i cant get him to stop either so i am glad i am not alone.thanks for making me smile about it.
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This discussion is all to familiar with me. MIL has been talking in detail about her BM's for years. In her 60's and 70's she became dependent on supositories and ruined her ability to have natual BM's. She had been to numerous doctors for her bowels and after being dismissed more than once, and me asking her to "stop" she has let up. She now lives in assisted living and has a new audience. The frequency of TP runs is astounding!
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I've noticed that when my dad got older, he started talking about his health and body functions more (not something he ever would do when younger) however, I noticed a pattern with all older people in my surroundings (even my boss does this now). My mom and mother in law live with me, and it's a favorite topic of conversation. I have even started asking "did you poop today?" What color is your pee?" To me, I need to know because what comes out could be a serious indication that their bodies aren't working properly. Besides that, old people don't have much else to think about, other than getting old and their health...ugh
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Unfortunately yes, this is common. Mom is 99. She is obsessed with BM's and sadly has dementia and memory loss. She can't remember if she has gone or not. She barely eats or drinks any liquid so there is very little to go anyway, so she forces it. She is addicted to Milk of Magnesia and suppositories and has ruined her bowels and losing control. She hides it from us, lies and gets nasty and since we can't be there constantly, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Since she is in independent living, we can't ask them to stop selling it to her in their little store. We know where this is heading, and we can't stop it.
My advice is this - monitor the situation and don't let him get started on laxatives. Read about the dangers of over-use because seniors get dependent on them and unless they are under a doctors care, can't get off the downward spiral. Since he is living with you, you can help control it with diet rather than artificial means. Believe me, the laxative abuse is not nice when it begins to destroy a senior's colon and control.
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My parents are obsessed with talking about bm and farting. But they do it out of immaturity because they know it really annoys me. They pass gas very loudly and forcefully in the same space as you just to get a reaction (especially because I don't find it funny). I don't know how to make them stop. The more I complain the more they do it. It's so immature.
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My mother lived with me for 25 years. From the day she moved in, I had to get the "daily poop report!" I let her talk about it, but I really did not respond or listen. She is now 95 and in assisted living. She now reports to her caretakers daily on her status. I hope I don't ever do that to my husband or daughters.
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I suppose you could ask "And how is your vagina today?"
But seriously, A little colace my take the drama out of bm's. Or an herbal supplement or probiotics. They say our gut is our second brain, so maybe there's reason to have a measure of awareness as to what is going on there.
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Oy...my mom gives us all the daily report--she's constipated, she has hemmhoroids, she is loose, she just put in a suppository and might have to go soon, etc. Why does she think any of us want this level of detail? It doesn't matter if we are eating or not. How can I politely tell her to please keep this information to herself?
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I'm sorry. I know this is a serious topic, but I'm actually finding it entertaining until, of course, I have to hear too much about it. My uncle (who was extremely private and proper) suddenly felt no inhibitions when it came to talking about being constipated. My dad, on the other hand, had just the opposite problem. Fortunately, they didn't live with me and my husband, so information was limited.
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My mom does the same.... Her BM (or lack thereof) rules the day. I do worry about her straining (and yes, she is on a daily stool softener -she's currently in rehab in a nursing home).
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I think that older adults whose activity level is lessened in many cases , have more issues with constipation ...some medications as well can cause this to occur...it is a big topic on TV these days, everyone wants methods and means to be regular...Mom may be verbalizing because she is comfortable with you...Don't feel that she is trying to be puposefully annoying but rather just another wasy of saying , "hey ,I am pretty healthy in this area"
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