Manoogian Manor Assisted Living in Livonia, MI

How to prevent constipation in the elderly

Photo of clean white toilet with lid open and a green plant in the background

Constipation is a common problem among the elderly, which can lead to discomfort and even serious health issues. Luckily, there are many things that can be done to prevent constipation in seniors. In this article, we will provide tips and strategies to keep bowel movements regular and reduce the risk of constipation.


  1. Hydrate well

One of the most effective ways to prevent constipation in the elderly is to drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can cause the stool to harden, making it more difficult to pass. Ensure that seniors are drinking enough water and other fluids such as juice, tea or broth, which can keep the body hydrated and regulate bowel movements.


  1. Exercise regularly

Physical activity is essential for maintaining overall health, including digestive health. Encourage seniors to incorporate daily exercise into their routine, such as walking, swimming or cycling. Regular exercise can stimulate the digestive system, help prevent constipation, and reduce stress.


  1. Include high-fiber foods in the diet

A diet that is high in fiber can promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Encourage seniors to eat foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans. Fiber-rich foods add bulk to the stool and help move it through the digestive system more easily.


  1. Promote regular toilet habits

Establishing a routine for toilet habits can help prevent constipation in the elderly. Encourage seniors to go to the bathroom at the same time each day and take enough time to ensure that their bowels are completely emptied. Also, try to ensure that they do not delay bowel movements.


  1. Review medication use

Some medications can cause constipation as a side effect. If your loved one is taking medication, consult with the doctor to see if alternative options are available or if dosage changes can be made. Seniors should never stop taking medication without the guidance of their doctor.


  1. Reduce stress

Stress can affect digestion, and high levels of stress can increase the risk of constipation. Encourage seniors to engage in stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, or listening to music. Try to reduce any stressful factors in their environment, such as excessive noise or clutter.


Constipation is a common issue for seniors, but there are many ways to prevent it. By incorporating these tips and strategies into their daily routine, seniors can enjoy regular bowel movements and avoid the discomfort and health risks associated with constipation. Remember to always consult with a doctor if constipation persists or worsens despite taking preventive measures.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and should not replace professional medical advice.