Constipation is a symptom that many aging adults contend with near the ends of their lives. There are so many potential causes, but it is a symptom that can be managed if you can find the right combination of actions.
She Feels Full and Uncomfortable.
Constipation literally keeps your senior feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Since little or nothing is moving through her bowels, her body can respond with feelings of nausea that make eating even less likely. Long-term constipation or even slow-moving bowels can be so uncomfortable that your elderly family member may feel reluctant to eat much food at all.
She Might Experience Pain.
Some people who experience constipation also experience a great deal of pain. This can lead your elderly family member to avoid moving much and to avoid eating as well. All of this can make constipation even more difficult for her to manage on her own. Pain itself can cause your senior to shut down and to avoid even simple activities that she has enjoyed up until now. Severe constipation can make it difficult for her to even walk a few steps, which can worsen the situation.
Medication Changes Might Help.
Many of the medications that your senior may be taking to help her manage end-of-life health issues can contribute to constipation. It might be possible to change either the dosage or the medications that she’s taking in order to help relieve the problem. There may be other solutions that her doctor might recommend that can help to manage the constipation, too. It’s a problem that your elderly family member might be reluctant to bring up with her doctor, but it’s one that her medical team needs to be aware of.
Increasing Fluid Intake and Other Dietary Changes can Help.
Because your senior may be avoiding eating and drinking, she might be missing something that could help her constipation. Try to encourage her to drink water whenever possible as that can help to add fluid to her bowels and get things moving again. If she’s feeling nauseated and that’s causing her to avoid food, try finding some favorite foods that she enjoys. Offering small servings of favorite foods can put something in her stomach and that can sometimes relieve the nausea enough for her to try eating more.
Work with your elderly family member’s doctor to determine what else can be done to help her manage her constipation. Hiring end-of-life care providers can give you an on-hand expert in managing these kinds of situations with a senior family member. Patience and the right combination of solutions can help so much.
If you or your aging loved one could benefit from End of Life Care in Bamberg, SC, contact the caring staff at Grove Park Hospice, (803) 536-6644