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What Are the Effects and Benefits of Medical Marijuana in Dementia Patients?

dementia patients can benefit from prescription marijuana and cbd oilDiscussions and research on the use of marijuana and it’s effects on dementia patients is a rising concern. Understanding the research and the legality behind the use of the drug can help you make a wise decision about using it.

Research has found that marijuana can help dementia patients manage their dementia behaviors and symptoms of the condition. This may seem like good news for many people, particularly those living in states in which the drug is legal, but frustrating for those who are not in those states. But more importantly one should consider the effects and benefits.

The Effects and Benefits

Studies are conflicted when it comes to how marijuana helps dementia patients. The media has reported that the drug can lead to the onset of dementia, but at the same time could also improve conditions for people who already have it. This may be paradoxical, but it’s simply what researchers are seeing in their clinical trials.

The component in marijuana (cannabis) is THC. Some studies have shown that patients taking low doses can experience improved memory. They were also better able to learn. Scientists believe this is because the component of cannabis affects the hippocampus.

infographic of dementia patients gears in mind being connected with marijuana treatment

Besides improving memory, there’s another way that marijuana affects dementia patients – it can lower stress. One of the reasons people seek the cannabis plant is to help them relax. This effect can be quite welcoming to people who suffer from dementia because their symptoms can often frustrate them and increase anxiety and stress. When commons techniques for how to manage dementia don’t seem to be working, one can see how just lowering the stress levels can be a huge benefit.

However, this doesn’t work necessarily for everyone! The mind is a complex part of the body. The chemicals in the brain interact with drugs in different ways, which is why some people are affected by some drugs, while others are not. The only way to truly know how marijuana will affect someone suffering from dementia is to ask their physician about it, and then try it. While you may be tempted to just give this a try, we highly recommend that you only go down this path with your doctor’s recommendation.

Seeking Marijuana for Dementia Patients

If you are in a state that does not allow medical marijuana, you cannot legally use it. The only way to use it is to go to a state where it is legal and purchase it there. You must USE it there as well. It is illegal to bring marijuana back to a state where it is prohibited.

This means dementia patients in states where medical marijuana is illegal are unable to use it to help their symptoms.

doctor prescribing marijuana to dementia patients

Fortunately, there is an alternative that some people have experienced benefits from and that is CBD oil. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and can contain a low level of THC, which is the active ingredient that helps people with dementia. There is research that shows how it may help as well as potential side effects, so be sure to check into before trying it. And again, we think you should get your doctor’s recommendation for this too. Ask your doctor about it, because it may be worth a try if you’re unable to purchase marijuana in your state.

Alternative to Marijuana for Dementia Patients

For those who do not feel comfortable using marijuana or CBD oil, there are some therapies that can help manage the behavioral symptoms of dementia. These therapies are often part of programs included in many different elder care living communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about elderly home care for someone who is suffering from dementia or senior placement services, call ElderCare Connections at 513-685-8998 or complete our contact us form. We LOVE TO HELP!!!

The Difference between Hospice and Palliative Care

Many people do not know the difference between hospice and palliative care. We wanted to inform our readers of the differences because it’s important to know this when seeking elder care services for an older loved one.

palliative care vs hospice difference is in terms of the type of support they needAbout Palliative Care

Palliative care is a service that provides for the person entirely. Most people who have palliative care suffer from a disease or disorder that requires around the clock care. Often this requires many different types of specialists to remain medically stable. For instance, the patient may need a doctor, nurse, social worker, and dietitian available on a daily basis.

Palliative care vs hospice is meant to improve the quality of life and hopefully contribute to recovery efforts. It helps patients reduce symptoms of their disease/disorder, so they can be comfortable and in the best position to recover.

About Hospice Care

Hospice and palliative care are similar in that they both include a full range of services to make a person as comfortable as possible. The main difference between hospice and palliative care is that generally the patient in hospice care only has 6 months or less to live.

Hospice’s goal is to ensure the patient has everything needed to live out the rest of their days in as little pain and discomfort as possible. It is not a long-term care option.

Treatment is provided in hospice, but it is not meant for recovery – it is entirely to alleviate or reduce the symptoms of the terminal illness.

Palliative Care vs Hospice

difference between hospice and palliative care is in terms of longevity of the patientSince elderly who receive palliative care are expected to survive for more than 6 months, the goal of treatment is not only to provide comfort but also recovery or stabilization of their disease or disorder. Hospice care is provided to people who no longer have a chance at recovering from their disease or disorder, nor can it be stabilized to prolong the person’s life. The only treatment they receive is for comfort as they reach the end of life.

People sometimes do leave hospice care and go into palliative care if their condition changes. Of course, a person can also go from palliative care to hospice care. It all depends on their prognosis, which is regularly assessed throughout receiving services.

If you are unsure of palliative care vs hospice and which one is right for your loved one, speak to a healthcare professional. This person will be able to recommend services and the type of care that is best at this time.
Seeking Hospice and Palliative Care

During these difficult times, ElderCare Connections’ senior placement services is here to help. We are a FREE referral service that can help you find the best care for your older loved one. We have great working relationships with facilities providing hospice and palliative care. Our service is at no cost to you. Please call us at 513-685-8998, or complete our contact us form to learn more about these options and which one is best for your older loved one.

Also, for help during this difficult time, please download our free eBook on making hard choices.

How to Know When It’s Time to Move to Assisted Living Communities

helping elderly move to assisted living communities

It can be difficult to know when it’s time to make the move to assisted living communities. After living independently for so long, it can feel uncomfortable to admit you need help. What’s important to keep in mind right now is that this is a normal part of life, and that seeking help with certain areas of your life will create a better life going forward. And it can make things even more difficult trying to understand the many housing options available to seniors. Below we address some things to consider when trying to determine if it’s time to make the move.

Safety First

Safety is an important consideration. If you’re not able to live in your senior home safely, moving to a community where people are available to help you is the best decision.

Many people risk their lives every day because they refuse to seek assistance. They may cause a fire while cooking, or end up leaving the water running somewhere in the house and slipping. These situations are life threatening, and there’s no reason anyone should take the risk when assisted living communities are there to help. 

What’s great about assisted living communities is that you are still living independently. You don’t lose all of your independence, but instead, you receive help with what you need. If you need more help down the road, you can get it. These communities are highly based on only what you need.

Medical Monitoring in Assisted Living Communities

Do you often feel afraid that something may happen to you and no one notices for hours or maybe even days? If so, medical monitoring is something you could use in your senior housing options search.assisted living communities nurse helps medical needs of elderly gentleman

Many of these communities will include checkups as part of their services. They can check on you multiple times a day, once a day, or every couple of days – whatever makes you comfortable. This way you never have to worry about being hurt and alone for a long time.  

Also, many communities will have a system that allows you to alert someone if you have fallen or feel extremely ill. This system connects to the office that is part of the community, so someone can come assist you in a matter of minutes.

Having the peace of mind that when you need someone, a person will be there to help you can be so reassuring. This is an important consideration when trying to determine your future senior living options.

Social Interaction

elderly group in social interaction in assisted living communitiesGrowing older can be lonely. Family members are busy with their lives. Close friends may have passed or moved away. The problem is that social interaction is more important than ever in your Golden Years. Research has shown it can increase longevity.

A great way to have more social interaction is to join a community where people are in the same stage of life as you. Assisted living communities are for people who still wish to live alone, but they just need some help at times. If this sounds like what you need, you know you’ll be around others who are at this same stage of life.

Many of the communities have scheduled events you can attend. If you’re not interested in attending events, you can meet people by just walking around the community. You can socialize in any way that is comfortable for you.

 Are Assisted Living Communities for You?

To help you determine if assisted living communities are right for you, contact Eldercare Connections today at 513-685-8998. We offer a free referral service to help you find the best assisted living communities in your desired area. Give us a call now for more information, or complete our contact us form.