Bridge club, book club, mahjong club, medical marijuana club?  Makes you want to sign up now for some senior living arrangement, eh?

In the first such deal in the state, Etain Health of New York contracted with a Bronx nursing home to provide medical cannabis products to its residents.

Originally New York marijuana law only allowed physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients, but health regulators have recently expanded it to allow nurse practitioners that same ability.   Steps are being taken to afford the same to physicians’ assistants. Etain will train the staff at this nursing home to become certified to recommend medical marijuana.

Up until now, seniors have been the most reluctant group to embrace marijuana for any use, including medical reasons.  This aging group has many concerns and misconceptions about marijuana and need information about the many ways cannabis can be used.   They need to know realistic outcomes and expectations, dosages and availability, and how their quality of life can be enhanced by its medicinal value.

SAFETY ISSUES:  Seniors 65 and older are only 14% of the nation’s population but they use more than 30% of all prescription drugs, including some highly addictive pain killers like Vicodin and other opioids for chronic pain.  While these conventional drugs have a potential to kill when abused, no overdose of marijuana has ever resulted in death.

Powerful antioxidant effects of marijuana can offer relief for disorders like lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and inflammations such as that of the liver from Hepatitis C.  Many see it as a great alternative.

ADDICTION:  Cannabis is not physically addictive.  Seniors have used it for chronic pain, stress and anxiety daily without getting addicted.  A host of different strains can provide relief from chronic pain but can also make one feel energized and focused without the psychoactive effects that seniors sometimes worry about.  What’s wrong with that concept?

SMOKING IT:  Our grandmas and grandpas think that the only way to use marijuana is to smoke it.  Cannabis-infused ointments and oils have shown great promise and results for those with arthritis and neuropathy, while baked products, candies and honey can incorporate cannabis which creates enormous choices for this group; choices they didn’t know they had.

In addition to her visits to the gym and her kale salads, 68-year-old Sue Taylor now includes marijuana in her quest to stay youthful.  She uses her Gummie Cares for sleep and pain as she needs it.  Once a high school principal who preached and exposed the dangers of drugs to her students, she has changed her mind and is now an advocate for aging Americans using marijuana.  She speaks at community meetings to help educate the seniors who are curious.

“Seniors don’t want to get high, they want to get well”.

Why not help spread the word and share some of your own expertise on this subject with a senior today?  After all, chances are good that a senior care facility will one day be in our own future.