The team at Specsavers Cheltenham is becoming qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.
Two employees; Anne Fennell and Isobel Carroll, have become Dementia Friends, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society and will wear badges on their uniforms to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers.
Melanie Brackstone, store director 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.’
Becoming a Dementia Friend includes 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.
Those with dementia commonly experience problems with their sight and visual perception, causing them to misinterpret the world around them. Some sufferers can experience hallucinations. On top of that, research has revealed that almost half of dementia patients in care homes are wearing glasses with the wrong prescription, leading to increased isolation and confusion.
Specsavers is also urging anyone over the age of 55 to undergo regular hearing tests as research suggests that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Hearing tests at Specsavers are free.
, Bowen, M et al (July 2016) The Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia