Of all the things that you thought your senior would be dealing with at the end of her life, constipation might not have made the list. Constipation can be extremely painful and upsetting for your elderly family member, so getting a handle on the situation is important.
Her Activity Levels Are Much Lower
One of the biggest contributing factors to constipation for your aging adult is often that she’s not nearly as active as she used to be. This is especially the case if she’s now bedridden and needs quite a bit of help getting around. Increasing your senior’s activity level may not be a viable option, but there are other possible solutions that might be more effective.
She May Not Be Eating or Drinking Much at All
When your elderly family member doesn’t eat or drink much, there isn’t much going through her system. This tends to slow down her gastrointestinal tract and forces it to slow way down. It can be difficult to convince your aging family member to eat more if her appetite just isn’t there. The key might be to find foods that she enjoys and increase her water intake to help push more through her system.
Her Medications Could Be Creating Problems
Medications are notorious for creating problems in the intestinal tract. Toward the end of your senior’s life, she may be taking more pain medications, for example. Talk with your senior’s medical team about the medications she’s taking and how they’re likely to impact both her appetite and the possibility that her constipation might worsen. Sometimes medication adjustments can help quite a bit.
The Foods and Drinks She’s Choosing Aren’t Helping
Toward the end of her life, you might not be so concerned about what your senior is eating as long as she is indeed eating. But some foods, such as low fiber junk foods, can make the problem worse. Additionally, some beverages can make the problem worse. Caffeine, especially in large amounts, can make constipation worse. Encouraging your aging family member to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as bumping up her water intake might make a difference.
Dealing with all of the various causes of constipation can be extremely complicated to handle on your own, even with the help of your aging family member’s doctors. Having hospice care providers can take some of the uncertainty out of managing this and other issues for your senior family member.
If you or an aging parent are considering hospice care in Norristown, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.