Millions of Americans experience constipation. This results in billions of dollars spent in emergency rooms every year. It is important to understand that irregular bowel movements sometimes happen. It is usually nothing to fret over. However, the question is this – when should you worry about constipation in your elderly loved one?
When Should Your Elderly Loved One See Their Doctor?
Generally, constipation is nothing to worry about. However, it can be due to a more serious health condition which could include the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Thyroid disease
- Parkinson’s disease
There are many other conditions that can also cause chronic constipation. It is best to seek medical attention for constipation if it has been occurring regularly for two to three weeks. However, if your elderly loved one notices blood in their stools, starts losing weight, or goes a week without being able to go to the bathroom, they should go to their local emergency room.
How Can Your Elderly Loved One Prepare for Their Doctor’s Appointment?
Once you make a doctor’s appointment for your elderly loved one regarding their constipation, you should also go over the kinds of questions the doctor will probably be asking them. Some of these questions include the following:
- They might ask about your loved one’s diet.
- The doctor will probably want to know about your loved one’s eating habits.
- They also will ask about your loved one’s stool and bowel consistency.
The doctor will also want to know when the constipation started. It is a good idea to have your elderly loved one track their bowel movements before seeing the doctor. This can help the doctor to determine the underlying cause of the constipation.
What Are Some Common Constipation Causes?
There are many reasons for constipation. Your elderly oved one might not be drinking enough water. In many cases, constipation occurs from living a sedentary lifestyle, having poor eating habits, and not having enough fluid intake. Sometimes our bodies have trouble digesting certain foods. When we eat these foods, our digestive tract can get backed up which results in constipation.
How Can Your Elderly Loved One Control Their Constipation Issues?
Thankfully, a person can take control of their constipation issues. For instance, your elderly loved one might want to try cutting back on caffeine and drink lots of water throughout the day. They might want to add more fiber into their diet. You should encourage them to add the fiber into their diet gradually. This will help their body adjust to the new diet regimen.
It is important to understand that many people suffer with constipation. It is often easy to fix this issue. However, as an elderly care provider or family caregiver, you should encourage the elderly adult in your life to speak to their doctor when their constipation is frequent or lasts for more than a week.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in Lodi, CA please contact the caring staff at Aging Assistant today. (916) 897-4752