Marking Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), the team at Specsavers in Monmouth is becoming qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.

Qualified staff

Three members of staff have already completed the training. Optical assistants Stef Thorp, Catherine Streeter and Jade Brain are all qualified Dementia Friends, and will each wear a badge on their uniform to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers.

Those with dementia often experience sight and visual perception issues, causing them to misinterpret the world around them, and some can experience hallucinations. Research has revealed that almost half[1] of dementia patients in care homes are wearing glasses with the wrong prescription, leading to increased isolation and confusion.

Specsavers employees nationwide are completing Dementia Friends training, which has been created by the Alzheimer’s Society. The comprehensive training covers all aspects of dementia and discusses how it affects people in different ways, including senses such as sight and hearing.

‘Positive development’

Emily-Anne Frost, store director of Specsavers in Monmouth, says: ‘Dementia is a serious issue and affects a lot more than just a person’s memory. People living with it can suffer sensory changes, so it’s important that optical staff are aware of this and can make sure they are as helpful and thoughtful as possible.

‘I’m proud to say Stef, Catherine and Jade are now qualified Dementia Friends, which is an incredibly positive development for our team and adding to our offering to customers.’

All Monmouth store information


[1], Bowen, M et al (July 2016) The Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia