Registered User
Nov 6, 2006
hI...My mum has been waiting for a CT scan in hospital for over a week to be told yesterday that she does not need one now as her condition has improved but they still would like to do a Barium Enema...I am releived that she has improved,less diarhoea,and her stomach is less distended and she is eating well....They think it may have been feacal impaction and that it has resolved itself whilst in hospital,with the pushing of fluids,medication etc...If it is something else then we will have to address that after the Barium Enenma....Our concerns are this......How does the residential home prevent it from occurring again...It all started when mum was put on a liquidised diet after she couldnt take solids very well.....Is there a regime they should follow,eg contacting dietician,sorting the right medication,what is the correct medication?we are so worried it will happen again and are hoping to arrange a meeting at the home to discuss these issues..Should it be happening..Is it easy to prevent it from occuring with the appropiate measures in place ...Any advice would be welcome.....Is feacal impaction common in homes with the elderly as I am sure it is...Thanks


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I think you're right - bowel problems are very prevalent in the elderly. Lack of movement, little roughage, all the medications they take, not being assisted to the toilet when they need to go, added to the fact that as we age, nerves don't always send the right message, must combine to make this a chronic problem. Liquid or soft diets are particularly problematic, yet there are versions which have adequate fibre added. I think talking to the dietician is a very good idea, perhaps more than one dietician. The normal response to this problem is to pour more stool softener into them, but from what I've seen with my mother, there is a law of diminishing returns with this. Is your mother able to get to the bathroom on her own? Because if not, you might also ask them how frequently she is taken there - NH often have fairly rigid routines which may not fit with your mother's preferred pattern of elimination.



Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
We haven't experienced this particular problem with Mum, but she does have ongoing bowel problems. Fortunately for us these have been minor to date, but to hear my Mum tell it, she has been "to Hell and back"!! I dread to think how she'd cope if she had real problems like your poor Mum. I hope you find a suitable soluton quickly. Does the NH have trained nursing staff? (I live in Australia so not sure how it works in England.) Maybe the dietician could write a letter to the trained nurse advising of appropriate diet changes, substitutions, etc.?? Just a thought . . .
Good Luck! Nell