The team at Specsavers in Ripon is supporting Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, to help people develop an understanding of dementia and turn it into action to support customers and employees who are affected by the condition.
In doing so they become recognised as a Dementia Friends, with a badge to wear on their uniforms to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to their customers.
Caroline Sullivan, store director of Specsavers in Ripon says: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our team and our offering to customers.'
The comprehensive training covers all aspects of dementia and discusses how it affects people in different ways. With particular relevance to Specsavers it also describes how senses can be affected, including sight and hearing.
Specsavers clinical spokesman Dr Nigel Best added: ‘People with dementia may experience problems with their sight which cause them to misinterpret the world around them. In some cases, those living with dementia can experience hallucinations.
‘Specific types of dementia can also damage the visual system and cause visuoperceptual difficulties. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Rarer forms of dementia, such as posterior cortical atrophy can also cause visuoperceptual difficulties. Therefore it is vitally important that we recognise customers with dementia so that we can identify and look after their eyecare needs to the best of our ability.’