Unfortunately, constipation is a common occurrence among the elderly. If your parent has not seen their primary health care provider since this started, make an appointment to make sure there is no underlying disease. If they are experiencing a fever, vomiting or abdominal pain, they will most likely perform additional testing. Diseases that can cause constipation include diabetes, Parkinson’s, depression and chronic kidney disease. Once they’ve determined it is just a simple case, there are steps you can take to ease your parent’s discomfort.
Dehydration is actually one of the main causes of constipation. Your parent may be limiting their intake of water in order to avoid frequent trips to the restroom, or they may have never been much of a water drinker and now it’s catching up with them. The body is 60 percent water, the brain—70 percent, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent. Every day, the body needs to replace the water that it uses. And it uses it in numerous ways, just a few of which are to lubricate joints, nourish and protect the brain, detoxify, and maintain the core-body temperature. Help your parent by always keeping a glass of water by their side. And, no, neither coffee nor alcohol count as they are both dehydrating.
An optimum diet for your parent consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Not only do these types of foods provide antioxidants and a host of vitamins and minerals, they are also chockfull of fiber. And what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do. High-fat meats and dairy products or rich desserts and packaged or processed foods will not help your parent in this matter.
The body requires movement to function at its best. If it’s difficult for your parent to exercise for 30 minutes straight, consider helping them set up a schedule of just 10 minutes of exercise 3 times a day. This can be as simple as walking. If balance is an issue, consider activities such as water aerobics or swimming. Exercise helps the body’s digestive system function at its peak.
There are several medications that are known to cause constipation. Just a few of these are drugs used to treat pain, Parkinson’s, depression, high blood pressure, cancer and antihistamines for allergies. Bring a list of medications, including over-the-counter, to your parent’s pharmacist and ask them to take a look to determine if one or more of these could be the culprit.
Home Care Provider
A home care provider can help your parent adopt a healthy lifestyle. In addition to assisting with the everyday activities, they can promote exercise by joining in with your parent or taking a walk together. They can run errands such as grocery shopping and return to your parent’s home to prepare healthy meals which they can then share, providing the companionship so important to a well-balanced life.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Fullerton, CA, contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Homecare today at 951-382-5266.