As the nation marked Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), Specsavers in Porthcawl have supported the Alzheimer’s Society initiative, Dementia Friends, to help people develop an understanding of dementia and turn it into action to support customers and employees who are affected by the condition.

Dementia Friends accreditation

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.

Claire Edwards, store director of Specsavers in Porthcawl, 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.’

Classroom and online based learning 

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.

All Porthcawl store information

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