CAM Use Among Elderly People

CAM Use Among Elderly People

The patterns of Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine are ever spontaneous and dynamic. Since each diagnosis is different from each other, one treatment for headache may not work for another’s. The concoction also differs with the person drinking it and is mixed according to the age difference.


The amount of CAM treatments has been vague and undecipherable in the present times. With different methods as well, one cannot really measure the number of patrons which have been focusing on different practices encompassing CAM. From acupuncture to reflexology and the ever controversial homeopathy, distinction of CAM will always be a complicated. It is even be tagged as fraud because of the inconsistency of distinction and practice.


The patterns vary especially among elderly people. The most commonly used is chiropractic medicine with 63% of the population applying it as an immediate remedy to their back pains and headaches to lessen stress. Two out of three people are also using CAM as an alternative medicine after conventional medicine does not work.


CAM is mostly popular among elderly women but instead of the “push” factor referring to health care which emphasized the positive factors and effects thereof, patronization is mostly driven by the fact that other women in the same social stature is practicing similar medical treatment.


It is also apparent that urban and rural reasons differ from each other for its usage.


Separate studies were conducted by the Peterson Group to elderly people in the city of Jakarta and among random respondents in East Java in Indonesia. Although the former has cited the prevailing reason as stated above, the main reason in rural areas is mainly due to the difficulties inherent in accessing conventional medicine. Moreover, several other different researches and reviews suggest that the sense of individualism and reluctance to seek medical care in cities. For older people, the introduction of CAM is through the information provided by relatives, family, acquaintances and testimonials from word of mouth. Passing of details are strong among communities showing a wide range of application of CAM in these areas.


Financial constraints were also mentioned by both the urban as well as the rural elderly citizens as one of the main factors they have been able to adapt CAM in their medical practice. Conventional medicine may not come cheap most of the times especially when treating a more serious ailment. CAM offers a cheaper alternative.