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Alzheimer’s and constipation

Spanielgirl

New member
Jan 10, 2019
9
Is there anyone who is dealing with this common but very stressful subject ? I would very much appreciate any advice, we are pulling our hair out with 91 yr old Mother, ( mid/late stage )
Up until May this year despite all the usual challenges of this great big roller coaster ride we ( my, daughter, son and myself )were coping well with Alzheimer’s . We were then struck down with Mums faecal impaction and behaviour/delirium worse than any UTI we’ve ever had. A call to 111 and a massive dose of Laxido , nothing, a visit from a district nurse and eventually an end result, but the delirium continued for nearly 2 weeks.
She has a very high fibre diet, lots of fluid & plenty of exercise around her home and garden and is on no medication. Constipation has followed her throughout her life. Other than her lack of ability to understand what the toilet is for ( has a chemical one by her bed ) and what bowel movements are, we are mostly faced with double incontinence.
My daughter has just called me, took over yesterday and I returned home for 2 days break, she is pulling her hair out, Grandma constantly wants to wee ( means uncomfortable , hasn’t had a bowel movement in 2 days, )turning yellow, sundowning a nightmare. She’s given her 4 Laxido, nothing, so I’m hoping that the am carer who does personal care will deal with the unpleasantries, unless the bed alarm goes off and my daughter will deal with it. I put her in a zip back onsie now as everything from time to time will come off.
I’m a 100 miles away, should be relaxing but I’m yet again despairing and undoubtedly will be back in the car again tomorrow.
I await your replies as everything I read on this forum gives me hope and is uplifting.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,371
@Spanielgirl You seem to be doing everything you can to prevent constipation. When mum was on codeine - which is known to cause constipation - she was prescribed a regular low daily dose of laxative. Have you discussed your mum’s chronic constipation with her GP? If not, it may be worth raising this problem with them to see what they suggest.
 

GraceG

New member
Jul 30, 2020
8
Is there anyone who is dealing with this common but very stressful subject ? I would very much appreciate any advice, we are pulling our hair out with 91 yr old Mother, ( mid/late stage )
Up until May this year despite all the usual challenges of this great big roller coaster ride we ( my, daughter, son and myself )were coping well with Alzheimer’s . We were then struck down with Mums faecal impaction and behaviour/delirium worse than any UTI we’ve ever had. A call to 111 and a massive dose of Laxido , nothing, a visit from a district nurse and eventually an end result, but the delirium continued for nearly 2 weeks.
She has a very high fibre diet, lots of fluid & plenty of exercise around her home and garden and is on no medication. Constipation has followed her throughout her life. Other than her lack of ability to understand what the toilet is for ( has a chemical one by her bed ) and what bowel movements are, we are mostly faced with double incontinence.
My daughter has just called me, took over yesterday and I returned home for 2 days break, she is pulling her hair out, Grandma constantly wants to wee ( means uncomfortable , hasn’t had a bowel movement in 2 days, )turning yellow, sundowning a nightmare. She’s given her 4 Laxido, nothing, so I’m hoping that the am carer who does personal care will deal with the unpleasantries, unless the bed alarm goes off and my daughter will deal with it. I put her in a zip back onsie now as everything from time to time will come off.
I’m a 100 miles away, should be relaxing but I’m yet again despairing and undoubtedly will be back in the car again tomorrow.
I await your replies as everything I read on this forum gives me hope and is uplifting.
Hi
I'm sorry for all the emotional pain you are going through.
My mother had double incontinence.
Long story short -
We addressed the faecal contstipation/incontinence with a daily dose of Fybogel eg. in the morning so that every evening she would go to the loo - the idea is that you establish a toilet routine.
My mother resisted as it was too much effort to keep going to the loo but the approach does work.
In relation to the urine continence - my mother was put on a permanent catheter which has completely dealt with the problem. Just need to keep hydrating to avoid the uti's.
We got to this stage after years of problems, dizzyness, uti's, toilet accidents and on it went for years.
The problem was the diabetes had destroyed the nerves that told her she needed to go to the loo - a little know problem of diabetes and it took one clever continence nurse to diagnose and sort the problem.
I hope this helps.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,371
We addressed the faecal constipation/incontinence with a daily dose of Fybogel eg. in the morning so that every evening she would go to the loo - the idea is that you establish a toilet routine.
Just to add a word of caution, the long term use of laxatives is not recommended - unless they have been prescribed by the GP - as this can result in prolonged diarrhoea/electrolyte imbalance. In mum's case a routine blood test showed that she was severely anaemic and we discovered that the care home had been continuing to give daily laxatives even when the codeine was stopped and mum wasn't constipated. As a consequence she suffered from recurrent diarrhoea which caused the anaemia.
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
70
Bristol
Is there anyone who is dealing with this common but very stressful subject ? I would very much appreciate any advice, we are pulling our hair out with 91 yr old Mother, ( mid/late stage )
Up until May this year despite all the usual challenges of this great big roller coaster ride we ( my, daughter, son and myself )were coping well with Alzheimer’s . We were then struck down with Mums faecal impaction and behaviour/delirium worse than any UTI we’ve ever had. A call to 111 and a massive dose of Laxido , nothing, a visit from a district nurse and eventually an end result, but the delirium continued for nearly 2 weeks.
She has a very high fibre diet, lots of fluid & plenty of exercise around her home and garden and is on no medication. Constipation has followed her throughout her life. Other than her lack of ability to understand what the toilet is for ( has a chemical one by her bed ) and what bowel movements are, we are mostly faced with double incontinence.
My daughter has just called me, took over yesterday and I returned home for 2 days break, she is pulling her hair out, Grandma constantly wants to wee ( means uncomfortable , hasn’t had a bowel movement in 2 days, )turning yellow, sundowning a nightmare. She’s given her 4 Laxido, nothing, so I’m hoping that the am carer who does personal care will deal with the unpleasantries, unless the bed alarm goes off and my daughter will deal with it. I put her in a zip back onsie now as everything from time to time will come off.
I’m a 100 miles away, should be relaxing but I’m yet again despairing and undoubtedly will be back in the car again tomorrow.
I await your replies as everything I read on this forum gives me hope and is uplifting.
Hi, sounds a challenging situation. Just throwing this out there to consider, I suffered for around 4 years with bouts of constipation and had various invasive investigations which thankfully came back all clear. However, the a consultant suggested a low fibre diet for me and it’s been a blessing. It goes against everything we are generally told but it literally changed my life! Might be worth a try. Good luck.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,306
From unfortunate experience, remove all bottles of castor oil from the house.
FiL suffered, then the washing machine suffered!!

Bod
 

Spanielgirl

New member
Jan 10, 2019
9
Dear All, thanks for your replies and support much appreciated makes a big difference. So I’ve arranged a telephone appointment with GP sometime today. Daughter has called again but does not want me to get in the car , she will cope, even though she’s clearing up the mess after the carer left, typical ! Clearly the 6 Laxido & muscle relaxant yesterday did the job, impaction hopefully gone !
I’m aware of long term use of Laxatives and I’m not happy doing it.Would we have poured so much stuff into our children, no, you just need to look at the label and see what’s in it. Laxido has been prescribed by GP, but since May ( before that we didn’t need anything ) nothing has been consistent and we just can’t regulate it. I’ve also tried Fybogel and Senna, went back to Laxido as they didn’t work effectively.
Interesting comment on too much fibre, prunes, etc, maybe I’ll cut back and up the Probiotics. I’m staggered at how much you can put into one little old lady and get little in return! Also interesting the mention of anaemia, they did her bloods in May after the nightmare impaction, all clear but slightly anaemic.I’ll mention it to the GP.
I have to be careful that I don’t have carer burnout on my hands. Last time all 3 of us family carers were at breaking point. I feel rather guilty saying that when I read on here of so many people trying to cope on their own, I’m sorry, I feel lucky that both my adult children are on the journey with me. We need help, we have all become ‘ very anal/ poo obsessed ‘ , referring to the Bristol stool chart/ notes daily, all in all a very unhealthy situation. Nobody warned me that Alzheimer’s and constipation would be such a problem and potentially life threatening. I am now much more educated on the subject, but still haven’t got the answers. I await the GP’s call and will post again with an update.
Once again many thanks for your comments.