Sample Nursing Paper on Constipation in the Elderly

Constipation in the Elderly

The occurrence of constipation among the older generation is rising according to age as the rate of prevalence in individuals with a rating of 26% women and 16% men (Schuster, Kosar & Kamrul, 2015). Therefore, this paper discusses constipation in the elderly and possible complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies.

CAM Therapies Employed by Constipation Patients

Considerably, treating constipation among the elderly have been a significant challenge prompting individuals to employ CAM therapy such as the use of probiotic bacteria and abdominal massage before seeking support from a doctor (Cherniack, 2013). Importantly, the two methods are easy to incorporate and have less effect on the body, thus, making the techniques to be the most applied mechanisms.

Effectiveness of the Therapies

Probiotic Bacteria

Admission of probiotic bacteria plays a significant role in reducing constipation as it helps to decrease the gut transit, increase bowel movement, and soften the stool. Conversely, abdominal massage is effective in controlling constipation as the process aids in enhancing the bowel functions, minimize time spent during defecation, and lowers chances of bloating (McClurg et al., 2016).

Advice to Patients on Use of CAM Therapies

Patient that wants to use CAM as a strategy for managing constipation should choose an effective method that does not affect the body. Additionally, they should seek doctor’s guidance on how to incorporate the mechanism since poor integration can result in an adverse effect.


Numerous CAM methods have been used to manage constipation such as probiotic bacteria and abdominal massage that have been found to be effective. In essence, the technique helps to increase the functions of the bowel, soften the stool, and lowers the transit of gut. However, patients that want to incorporate CAM in controlling constipation should choose a method that is easy to use and has little or no effect on the body.




Cherniack, E. P. (2013). Use of complementary and alternative medicine to treat constipation in the elderly. Geriatrics & gerontology international, 13(3), 533-538. Retrieved from:

McClurg, D., Walker, K., Aitchison, P., Jamieson, K., Dickinson, L., Paul, L & Cunnington, A. L. (2016). Abdominal Massage for the Relief of Constipation in People with Parkinson’s: A Qualitative Study. Parkinson’s disease, 2016. Retrieved from:

Schuster, B. G., Kosar, L., & Kamrul, R. (2015). Constipation in older adults. Canadian Family Physician, 61(2), 152-158. Retrieved from: