Introduction: Constipation is more common in older people because of the loss of muscle tone in the bowel. The older persons often experience difficulty passing stools, and this can lead to the bowels being opened with a frequency less than in normal individuals…
Many older people take medications that can lead to constipation, and regular reviews of medication should be undertaken to avoid taking too many inappropriate medicines, which is often the case with these individuals. Constipation is usually treated by aperients; however excessive use of them may lead to other problems. Thus, the nursing care must include some plans to manage constipation other than laxatives or aperients. These include increased attention is given to activity, nutrition, fluids, and the minimisation of medicines that have constipating effects. Regarding medication use, nurses are uniquely placed to encourage the quality use of medicines. Every drug that is administered to people with dementia should have a clearly documented rationale, and should be monitored and evaluated carefully (Bradshaw and Merriman, 2007).
Evidence from Current Literature: Constipation is also one of the biggest causes of confusion in older people, but is often overlooked. Moreover memory loss due to any reason may cause constipation. Constipation is one of the very common complaints of these patients for the reasons already explained, and this may pain or other physical discomforts. Sometimes there is a tendency of the healthcare personnel to ascribe physical discomfort as a normal part of ageing, and they tend to underestimate it (Saddichha and Pandey, 2008). In a care setting, quite frequently, the patients need a toilet, and they cannot find it, and consequently, they tend to neglect the complaint of constipation. The nurses should look for signs of discomfort due to constipation, and it is so common in healthy individuals, the nurses may also tend to ignore it as a complaint (Smith, Buckwalter, Kang, Ellingrod, and Schultz, 2008). The remaining aware of the constipation is an important part of the care plan for the nurses, and they should always ensure enough roughage and exercises are taken. Constipation is linked to nutrition and is one of the commonest causes of confusion amongst older people, especially those who are not very mobile. A preventative measure for constipation is ensuring that clients get plenty of exercise. This also helps clients overcome sleep problems (Jakobsson, Gaston-Johansson, hln, and Bergh, 2008).
Recent studies have indicated that constipation shows significant correlation with both physical function and age, but not with cognitive function; however, deterioration of cognitive functions has been associated with constipation. In the care settings individuals who develop complaints of constipation are older, and this symptom is more common in individuals who are dependent on the activities of daily living (Jokinen, 2005). Consequently health monitoring and good care practices should aim to prevent and address the differing and behavioural health concerns and should prevent constipation and dehydration (Mentes, Chang, and Morris, 2006). In one study involving patients with dementia, the nurses found numerous treatable sources of pain and discomfort, and one of them was constipation or other painful bowel regimen associated problems, and these were addressed with care plans. These sources of discomforts leading to constipation were nurses' touching or moving body parts during washing or transfers, caregiver techniques such as moving too fast or leaving the patient in the toilet cold and uncovered, uncomfortable supplies and seats, and unpleasant aspects of physical ...
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