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Opticians in Merthyr Tydfil train to become Dementia Friends

23 May, 2016
Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil is supporting Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative

As the nation marks Dementia Awareness Week, the team at Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil 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.

Important accreditation for opticians 

Specsavers employees nationwide are completing a Dementia awareness programme. There are two levels of accreditation, with the 18,000 UK staff encouraged to complete the first stage. 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.

Peter Render, store director of Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil, said: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our team and our offering to customers.

‘I always thought dementia was all to do with someone’s memory – but it is much more than that. By uncovering the truth about dementia it really opened my eyes to how at Specsavers, when performing our daily duties, we can all take a little time to support and care.’

Developing skills

Dementia Friends is completed online and entails watching a series of scenario based videos. The second is a classroom session which builds on the skills, helping participants to wage positive relationships with people with dementia. All Specsavers support offices staff are also being offered the training.

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.

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