Industry Leader MorseLife Receives State Approval to Offer Medical Marijuana Therapies for Elder Care

May 1, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, FL–Nationally recognized for being on the leading edge of care for older adults, MorseLife Health System will be the only senior living provider in Florida to offer cannabinoid-based therapies for its clients in a variety of care settings as an alternative to pharmaceuticals under a pilot program authorized by the State.

The only statutory teaching nursing home in Florida, MorseLife will conduct a medical marijuana research pilot program that will reduce and/or replace the use of certain pharmaceuticals with cannabinoid-based treatment and measure the impact of medical marijuana on certain diagnoses.

“I am very pleased the Florida legislature is allowing MorseLife to participate in medical marijuana research,” said MorseLife President and CEO Keith Myers. “Along the full continuum of care, MorseLife is uniquely qualified to introduce these new therapies for alleviating pain and other debilitating conditions in a safe and controlled environment. It is essential to evaluate their applications, recognizing that our findings may lead to evidence-based treatments for the future.”

Prior to joining the program, older adults will be evaluated as to their ability to benefit from cannabinoid-based therapies to reduce the reliance on pharmaceuticals and opioids. Conditions for which they will be ordered may include depression, anxiety, agitation, sleep interruption, chronic pain and side-effects from treatments or conditions related to aging.

Individuals in any of the MorseLife care settings, including assisted living, short term rehabilitation, long term care, memory care and hospice, may participate in the program, however no federal funds may be used to pay for the resources associated with medical marijuana treatment.

Local physician Melanie K. Bone, MD, who has been authorized by the state of Florida to order medical marijuana, will lead the program.

The study has the potential to revolutionize treatment protocols for multiple illnesses affecting senior citizens by using cannabinoids to reduce the side-effects, addiction rate, and cost of standard medical protocols using opioids.

MorseLife serves more than 3,600 seniors every day on its campus in West Palm Beach and through its community outreach programs. Founded in 1983, MorseLife is a provider of health care and residential services for seniors in Palm Beach County. A charitable, not-for-profit organization, its programs also include short term rehabilitation, long term care, independent and assisted living, memory care assisted living, hospice, home health care, care management, meals-on-wheels and PACE. Since its beginnings, MorseLife has built a reputation and tradition of caring for seniors with excellence, dignity and compassion.

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