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Is Constipation Just a Part of Old Age?

By , 8:00 am on

The topic of constipation is rarely discussed, which is why myths have risen about the topic – one of which, being that constipation is just part of old age. While constipation occurs more frequently among the aging population, there are often reasonable explanations such as the natural slowing of the digestive track with age or as a side effect of medications.

If you provide home care in Fairfield for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one and believe they may be suffering from constipation, here are a couple steps to take which can help facilitate digestion naturally:

  • Enhance the Diet with Fiber –To counteract the effects of constipation, a diet high in fiber is usually effective. Foods with plenty of fiber include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If your loved one eats lots of fatty foods, constipation may occur. Seniors and older adults should also drink six to eight glasses of water each day to help aid digestion.
  • Encourage Regular Exercise – Even light activity such as walking outside for 20-30 minutes a day can help relieve constipation. As with any new exercise plan, it is best to first consult with your loved one’s doctor to ensure that all physical activities being performed are safe.

Constipation is defined differently for each person. It’s not necessary for your loved one to have a bowel movement every day, however an issue is probably at hand if he or she has fewer than three bowel movements a week, has a hard time passing stools, or has the sensation of a blocked or full bowel even after having a bowel movement.

If the above lifestyle changes don’t seem to be helping it is best to schedule an appointment with your loved one’s doctor. He or she can tell you if any medications your loved one is taking can cause constipation and, if possible, recommend alternatives. A geriatric professional can also diagnose any underlying medical issues that may cause constipation.

For more information about senior health, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Fairfield at 203-955-1915 today. We are a resource for caregiving families and also offer a wide range of care services including Fairfield hourly care, live-in care and care for advanced conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke. Allow our experienced caregivers to assist your loved one with personal care and incontinence, household chores, transportation and so much more.