It is becoming increasingly evident that pharmacological interventions should be a last resort when treating patients with dementia. Due to a lack of resources and staff most skilled nursing home facilities overlook non-pharmacological options. However, studies have shown that non-pharmacological treatments are a safer alternative for patients. While pharmacological interventions are an effortless option for nursing homes and hospitals, they fail to improve the state of the resident. These medications might look like they are improving the condition of the patient however, these drugs sedate them as their condition worsens. In some cases, it could cause sufferers of cognitive disorders to deteriorate rapidly and act out.
The staff at a facility may often focus on the cognitive deterioration of the sufferers of dementia. As such, other symptoms that are linked to dementia may be overlooked. These symptoms generally manifest themselves in the forms of agitation, aggression, eating disorders, loss of appetite, and abnormal vocalization. Many of these symptoms may also grow to be the cause of death. For example, eating disorders and loss of appetite can lead to malnutrition. Furthermore, the use of medications have side-effects including sedation, psychosis, tremors, and may even lead to falls. More recent cases show that the pharmacological treatment of dementia leads to reduced resident well-being and quality of life, and may even accelerate cognitive decline.