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Best fiber supplements for seniors

The market is filled with options for adding fiber to the diet. Some of the more popular supplements include pectin, guar gum, and psyllium husk. It can be hard to decide on the right option; however, learning about fiber supplementation can make it easier to choose which one is the best for your aging parent. Here is a guide from Home Care Assistance of Westfield on how to incorporate a fiber supplement into an aging loved one’s daily diet.

Why Fiber Supplements are Important
As adults age, chronic constipation becomes a real concern due to a number of factors. Medications that the aging adult starts taking can affect nerve and smooth muscle function, especially in the bowels. Issues can also develop as diet changes. Aging adults may not eat as much they used to or may prefer softer, easier to digest foods which are typically low in fiber. Some people with age-related disorders also neglect to eat or drink enough fluids which can slow down bowel movements.

What Aging Adults Should Look For in a Fiber Supplement
Is is best to avoid taking a traditional laxative or stool softener for relief of chronic constipation, unless directed to do so by a doctor, because they can be harsh on the body and lead to dependence for regular bowel movements. Look instead to a fiber supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. These supplements, when taken properly, safely add bulk to the stool without causing adults to become dependent on the supplement. Look for an affordable, easy to use, and tasty supplement so that taking it daily is not a chore.

When is the Best Time to Take Fiber Supplements
Most fiber supplements are intended to be taken up to three times daily, preferably at each meal. These supplements are meant to be taken when the daily recommended amount of 25 grams of fiber is not present in an aging adult’s diet.

How Fiber Supplements Can Improve Overall Health
Increasing fiber intake is shown to improve health in a number of areas. It makes bowel movements bulkier and easier to pass so there is less pain and straining in the bathroom. Those with ailments such as hemorrhoids, IBS, diverticulitis, gas, and cramping, may benefit from fiber. Adding fiber to the diet can also help slow down the digestion of other foods, keeping the body’s blood sugar levels steady. Research has also shown that adding fiber to the diet can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

If your aging loved one could use in-home help with such things as healthy meal preparation and setting reminders for medications and supplements, contact Home Care Assistance at 908.450.9400 to see how an hourly caregiver in Westfield can help.