I have just stayed in hospital with dad while he had an op, I am shocked and saddened by the lack of dementia awareness and understanding by nurses and doctors in what is going to be a growing problem. I never imagined having to hold dad down for even the simplest of procedures ie having his temp taken but he was so frightened of everything after being taken in by ambulance from his nursing home. It was so traumatic for him because he didn't understand why or what was happening. His op risks were very high but the surgeon and anaesthetist thank goodness agreed with us that with the dementia only heading one way, the least we could do for dad was try to give him a pain free life. I was encouraged to go home for a couple of hours after staying one night as plenty of staff were around to watch him, to be told when I returned that Dad was found in the entrance, a good 15 mins walk from the ward. Since mum died suddenly 15 mths ago we have kept him safe so from that moment I decided I would stay, trying to keep dad calm, in the ward, listen to him getting frustrated at 2am on the ward wanting to leave, shouting at me telling me I was a terrible daughter (wow so he knew I was a daughter which strangely brought some comfort) etc plus dad would not have been monitored properly, they only knew he was dehydrating because I realised quickly and told them, so many things wrong, not the staff's fault in some respects as so short staffed although lack of common sense was evident, 3 night staff for 27 post op patients, 2 other dementia patients in 6 bed bay, but if they are not given proper dementia training why on earth don't they research themselves to know how to speak or treat a dementia patient - shouting and repeating isn't going to make him understand any more, if I wasn't there how could he articulate he was in pain, needed the toilet--- the list goes on. I am so so disappointed but I wouldn't hesitate to stay with dad again if needs be, it's only 2 weeks out of my life to keep him safe. I slept in the hospital chair by his bed but as he was awake most of the nights or going to the toilet many many times I felt exhaustated and when he was getting irate with me in the middle of the night towards the end of his stay I just burst into tears, struggled to keep him on the ward but the intervention of a couple of male patients who distracted him back to bed was a kindness I was so grateful for. He's back in the nursing home, I know this will set him back but they are confident he will start to eat and drink again and gradually settle and I have managed some much needed sleep so feel human again. Phew don't want to go through that again in a hurry but if he's now pain free it was worth it and the risks which were set at 70% non survival or complications or the dementia deteriorating because of the anaesthetic were also worth it, but signing the consent form knowing it could go either way was very daunting but we had to do it .... for dad's best interests.