Constipation commonly occurs in older people, particularly in hospital or residential care settings, and leads to decreases in quality of life and increases in the cost of healthcare. Despite its frequency, however, constipation in older people is often overlooked by nurses. One possible reason for this may be the lack of appropriate tools or scales for nurses to assess the risk factors for developing constipation. This paper identifies sixteen risk factors for developing constipation in older people, derived for the research literature: and shows how none of the four bowel charts examined include all sixteen of these risk factors. This suggests the need for more comprehensive assessment tools, to identify the level of risk, enable the implementation of appropriate preventative strategies and, ultimately, achieve better outcomes for older people.