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Tips on caring for people with learning disabilities - constipation

  • Comment is partnering with Netbuddy to help nurses care for people with learning disabilities. Here, we look at tips on constipation.

Natural movement

My daughter has Sanfilippo Disease and is very prone to constipation. I don’t like relying on medication, so I found that giving her raisins and prunes every day really helps to get things moving!

Marion’s constipation remedy

Ingredients: 300g tinned prunes (stoned) plus the juice; 3 large, ripe bananas; 200g mixed dried fruit (or 200g of unsulphured dried apricots); 200ml water

Method: Liquidise the ingredients and divide into 10 portions that can be individually frozen. The sauce can be put on breakfast instead of (or as well as) milk, used as a drink or a pudding. Begin with a small amount - 15ml a day - and work up to a regular 100ml per day. Expect to wait up to a week for results.

Apple juice does the trick

A glass and a half of fresh - not concentrated - cloudy apple juice works amazingly quickly on constipation. Drinking plenty of water really makes a difference too.

Rosemary’s bowel blaster recipe

Overnight, soak a portion of prunes, a portion of unsulphured apricots, some sultanas and raisins. Then slowly stew until soft, puree and keep in fridge. This can have powerful effects, so go slowly at first.

Blow bubbles

If someone you’re caring for is having problems with constipation or “holding in”, sit them down on the toilet with a bottle of bubbles and ask them to blow some bubbles.  The steady breathing technique will help them relax and should get things moving.

Organic apricots

To manage constipation, use organic apricots (not the orange ones, they must be brown, which means they have no chemicals in them). They are lovely stewed with apples, raisins and sultanas, and could be added to a breakfast cereal as a natural sweetener.

Ortisan fruit cubes

For constipation, try Ortisan fruit cubes. We have tried everything and these are the best. You can get them at chemists and health food shops.

Top tips is partnering with Netbuddy to update nurses with the latest helpful tips on caring for people with learning disabilities. Over the coming months, we’ll be publishing tips on and encouraging you to share your own ideas on


For more on learning disability nursing, see

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