Medical Marijuana Can Help Dementia Patients in Assisted Care Facilities

Medical Cannabis For Elderly Patients in Assisted Care Facilities

 

In Texas, the Compassionate Care Act has legalized medical marijuana for patients who suffer from dementia - including vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s dementia, Pick’s disease, and Lewy body dementia.  This opens up an improved way of treating patients in assisted care facilities by adding holistic therapeutic options for care of the elderly.

Unfortunately, due to federal restrictions, any assisted living facility under governmental control does not allow medical cannabis on the property.  For independently-owned institutions, the option to use medical cannabis for elderly care may be available.  These decisions are made by nursing home administrators and the department of health agencies that regulate each facility.

Medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate chronic pain, improve insomnia, decrease agitation and improve mood, treat depression, improve appetite, and decrease inflammation.  All of these are issues that increase in frequency and intensity as people age.

At Compassionate Telemedicine, we believe that the low-dose THC program in Texas can be used improve the quality of life for people in assisted living facilities by addressing these different pathologies under a doctor’s care.

In the case of dementia, as the condition worsens sleep becomes more erratic.  Patients become agitated and wander, increasing the likelihood of falls and injury.  Some studies in Canada and Europe have shown that using cannabis instead of pharmaceutical drugs like Seroquel or other anti-psychotics have superior results in keeping patients calm without over sedating them.

If your parents suffer from dementia, consider having a consultation with one of our doctors to see if medical cannabis is an option for improving the quality of life for your elderly family members.

 

 

Author
Dr. Allison Kendrick

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