Four Newtown team members have qualified as Dementia Friends as the nation marks Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May).

Recognised Dementia Friends

Optical assistants Olivia Cadman and Samantha Davidson, contact lens supervisor, Jemma Pryce, and store manager, Helen Paxon, have already completed the training, recognising them as Dementia Friends.

The four will wear a badge on their uniforms to highlight their increased level of awareness to customers.

The training, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society, covers all aspects of dementia and discusses how it affects people in different ways. This includes sensory changes to sight and hearing, including 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.

‘Vitally important’

David Dunlop, store director of Specsavers in Newtown, says: ‘Awareness of the effects that dementia can have on people is vitally important. 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.

‘Dementia means a lot more than a loss of memory and, with this training, our store team can hopefully provide an even better service to customers.’

All Newtown store information


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