As the nation marks Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), the team at Specsavers in Harlesden have become qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.

Alzheimer's Society initative

The Harlesden team are completing the Dementia Friends training, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. In doing so, they are becoming recognised as a Dementia Friends, with a badge to wear on their uniforms to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers. Specsavers’ home- and care home-visiting teams – Specsavers Healthcall – are also completing the training.

Navdeep Sharma, store director of the Harlesden store says: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our team and our offering to customers.

Increased isolation and confusion

'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.

'By providing dementia awareness training we are taking necessary steps to equip our team with the necessary skills to support all of our customers and continue to provide the same excellent service that we pride ourselves upon, regardless of the personal struggles any of our customers may be facing.

Core training

'I’m delighted we are now offering this as part of our core training offer.’

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.

All Harlesden store information