Ahead of Dementia Awareness Week in May, Specsavers in Ballymena has committed to become Dementia Friendly. The store is one of only a few businesses in the local area to have all its staff working towards the accreditation. So far, 18 of the team have completed the training programme provided by the Alzheimer’s Society.
A challenging diagnosis
Adrian Murdoch, store director, said: ‘A dementia diagnosis can be very challenging and upsetting not only for the individual but also for his or her family and friends. Sometimes it can also be difficult for the person to engage in the community especially when people around them don’t really understand the illness.
‘We decided to do the training to help all of our team to better understand how dementia can affect people so that we can give them a better service. The learning process is very rewarding and each team member who has completed the training feels better equipped with the appropriate skills to support our customers.’
The online training course covered all aspects of dementia and showed, through a series of scenario based videos, how the illness affects people in different ways. With particular reference to Specsavers it also describes how senses can be affected, including sight and hearing.