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Tips for Caring for a Senior with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a common health issue. Up to 45 million people throughout the United States live with the condition, and hundreds of thousands are diagnosed each year. It being common, however, doesn’t mean it is not disruptive. This condition can be very stressful and challenging, and if you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult living with it, it is important to make the management of their IBS a central focus of your care efforts. Not only will this help your parent to deal with the difficult symptoms, but it can also protect their health and preserve their quality of life.

Use these tips to care for a senior living with irritable bowel syndrome:

  • Do not self-diagnose. Make sure your parent goes to their doctor and is properly diagnosed prior to embarking on any management approach. The symptoms of IBS can also be related to other conditions, some more serious, and it is important to make sure they are treated correctly
  • If the doctor prescribes any form of medication, ensure your parent remains compliant with these instructions. This includes offering medication reminders to ensure they take their medications when and how they are supposed to in order to get the most benefit from these treatments
  • Encourage your senior to keep a food diary. Various foods can trigger IBS symptoms, so it is important for your parent to identify the ones that are troublesome to them. This allows them to avoid these foods or better prepare for the symptoms
  • Discourage caffeine as this can greatly contribute to diarrhea
  • Encourage hydration. Getting enough fluids helps to regulate the digestive system and replenishes the body after episodes, helping to maintain health
  • Talk to their doctor about probiotics. These might be helpful in replenishing good bacteria in their gut, which can help to minimize symptoms
  • Offer emotional support and encouragement. Many living with IBS also struggle with depression, and this is shown to worsen symptoms. Help your parent to maintain good mental and emotional health, and equip them with coping mechanisms to reduce emotional impact from the condition

Home care can be a valuable addition to your care routine for a senior struggling with health issues. As a family caregiver, it is your priority to help your parent manage these issues effectively, and the customized services of an in-home senior care services provider can help. This care is aimed toward helping your parent manage their condition while also addressing their individual needs as well. When it comes to helping your parent cope with IBS, this care provider can support a healthy diet, encourage physical activity and offer assistance, offer medication reminders to help with compliance, and more.


if you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Highlands Ranch, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.