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ManagementSenior Care

Cannabis in Assisted Living?

By September 8, 2023May 8th, 2024No Comments


I’m seeing an increasing number of articles about marijuana use by seniors.

One article stated, “Seniors are also the fastest-growing age group of pot users.”

Another article reported, “Cannabis use, for many older Americans, is less about getting high and more about getting sleep.”

For those of us involved in senior living, the obvious question from that news is what that means for our residents and assisted living facilities.

In the United States today, cannabis use is only legal in 23 states. Stay tuned because that number has been changing.

Many of us have probably seen the dispensaries that are popping up everywhere selling all types of cannabis products. Some of us may have even beome customers of those stores in our states, or just across the border.

The health benefits have been written about extensively. CBD and THC and all the other forms of cannibas available appear to have benefits for pain relief, improving sleep, fighting anxiety, and more. There are plenty of warnings about the potential misuse of cannibas too.

The implications of seniors using cannabis raise many questions for those in the assisted living industry. Many of us wonder how this trend might impact our facilities and the lives of our residents. Cannabis use policies in assisted living facilities have become a point of discussion.

A discussion about cannabis in assisted living

This post is an attempt to have a discussion about a new and evolving topic in assisted living.

Here are some comments and questions that I would enjoy hearing about from you:

  1. As small business owners, have you thought about how to address this in your community? Is it an issue?
  2. Balancing residents’ autonomy with safety, regulatory compliance, and the facility’s overall atmosphere is a complex challenge. What is your experience on this topic with regulators?
  3. Engaging in open conversations with medical professionals can help inform your approach. Have you found medical professionals open to the conversation?
  4. How do you approach this issue with staff? A zero tolerance policy while at work?
  5. Providing educational resources for both residents and staff about the benefits, risks, and responsible use of cannabis can empower everyone to make informed decisions. Do you provide any resources?
  6. Creating an environment where residents and staff feel comfortable discussing cannabis use can help mitigate potential issues and misunderstandings. Is this a topic that’s open for discussion in your assisted living facility?
  7. What’s your approach to crafting policies that reflect the unique needs and preferences of your residents while ensuring their safety and well-being is maintained?

What do you think about cannabis use in your assisted living facility?

The landscape of senior care and assisted living continues to evolve. The rising use of cannabis among seniors is just one example of the changing times we find ourselves in.

It’s essential to engage in meaningful conversations, explore solutions, and adapt our practices to meet the needs of our residents while adhering to legal and ethical considerations. By keeping a watchful eye on trends like this, we ensure that our facilities remain at the forefront of compassionate and effective senior care.

So, please share your thoughts, experiences, and strategies – together, we can navigate these uncharted waters and continue providing exceptional care to our residents.

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