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Retirement Homes Are Now Allowing Cannabis

It’s no surprise that more and more retired people are realizing the benefits that medical marijuana can provide them.

As medical marijuana becomes more mainstream and legalized in now 29 states, retirement homes are beginning to acknowledge the reality that their patients can and sometimes do use cannabis.

A nursing home in New York City, Hebrew Home at Riverdale, has come up with a program to not only allow their residents to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, but is even assisting them in the process. The staff will not administer or store cannabis for them, but they have begun providing locked boxes for residents to keep their medicine in to administer to themselves as needed.

A retirement community in San Francisco, Rossmoor Walnut Creek, has even gone so far to create a medical marijuana education group which has grown to 530 members. The program director herself, 72-year-old Anita Mataraso, uses marijuana on a daily basis to treat her arthritis and nerve pain. She said:

“I would be in a lot worse shape if I wasn’t using cannabis, both physically and mentally,”

In Washington state, more than ten retirement facilities already have formal policies in place regarding marijuana use. Unfortunately, the majority of retirement homes around the country do not offer such progressives policies and programs, leaving many retired folks without even the option to manage their symptoms or pain with medical marijuana.

Many doctors and nursing homes are concerned about the ill effects that marijuana may have on the elderly, such as fainting or dizziness. Many retirement homes have resorted to just keeping it quiet and not asking whether residents are using cannabis or not which can cause safety issues when staff is not fully aware of the medications that residents are using.

While only a small percentage of retirement homes are accepting of cannabis use, it looks like more and more will be willing to take the leap to being cannabis friendly. The goal is that seniors will soon have full access to the medications of their choice and the freedom to make that choice.