Constipation and Diarrhea in the Long-Term Care Setting

Constipation and diarrhea are common problems in the post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) setting. Up to 80% of patients are affected. Chronic constipation has been shown to affect both overall psychological well being and quality of life. Diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. Given the prevalence of these two disorders, their morbidity and mortality rates, and their impact on patients’ quality of life, it is important that  interdisciplinary (IDT) members are trained to recognize common signs and symptoms and report them to the practitioner in a timely manner. The guidance in this manual helps the members IDT carefully recognize, assess, treat, and monitor these conditions in the frail elder person, leading to more effective patient specific interventions that can reduce the burden of constipation and diarrhea.


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