Many elderly individuals struggle with constipation. It can cause a lot of discomfort and make your loved one want to stay home and miss some wonderful family time or important events. The key to managing constipation is often staying on top of it by having a diet that promotes good digestion and the fiber your loved one needs to make sure things can move along as they need.
Drafting up a grocery list with his senior home care provider and then following it while at the grocery store will be the first step in making sure your loved one gets the fiber he needs in his diet. Some of these grocery list items will be familiar and well known for their ability to prevent constipation but you might be surprised by a few of them.
Prunes are the age-old item that everyone reaches for to help relieve constipation. And there’s a good reason for that. They are rich in fiber! Dried or fresh prunes don’t matter, they both do the job. And while prune juice doesn’t have fiber, it can also help because it contains sorbitol which is a natural laxative.
Pears, Apples, and Oranges
Not a fan of prunes? There’s no need to force them upon your loved one. Instead, have his senior home care provider pick up some pears, apples, or oranges while out shopping with your loved one. They have a slightly lower fiber intake but still enough to make a difference, especially when enjoyed regularly. Have your senior care provider fill a bowl of fresh fruit, put it on the kitchen table, and then remind your loved one that he needs to eat at least one a day. He’ll get the fiber he needs plus plenty of wonderful vitamins and nutrients that will keep his health in tip-top shape.
Good for the eyes, carrots are also great at helping a body stay regular. They are rich in soluble fiber, which can help carry cholesterol out of the body through the stool. They also keep you full for a long time, so if your loved one struggles with feeling hungry all of the time, adding some carrots to his diet may help him reduce snacking on foods that have no nutrient values (or fiber).
Beans have more fiber in them than most fruits or vegetables, whether they are fresh or canned. Finding recipes that contain beans can help your loved one add these fiber-rich foods to his diet. Look at soups and chilis, along with many Mexican dishes to add beans to at least one meal a day.
Drinking pineapple juice can help remove blockages in your loved one’s digestive system and get things back on track. The natural plant enzymes that are contained in the juice can help improve bowel functionality.
This one is easy. Drinking more water and staying hydrated can help your loved one avoid constipation. Water and other non-caffeinated drinks add fluid to the colon making stools softer and easier to pass.