Constipation involves infrequent, incomplete and difficult (hard) bowel movements. It is common when older people become unwell and can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as abdominal pain and bloating. When you are constipated, small fluid bowel movements may also occur. This is when fluid escapes around the hard contents of the bowel. If you become constipated, contact your health care professional so that treatment can be started quickly.

You can help prevent constipation by:

  • drinking enough fluid
  • eating enough fibre
  • getting some physical activity if possible (eg walking)