As the nation marked Dementia Awareness Week, the team at Specsavers in Okehampton are becoming qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.
Specsavers employees nationwide are completing Dementia Friends training, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. 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 customers.
Specsavers’ home- and care home-visiting teams – Specsavers Healthcall – are also completing the training.
Raising awareness of dementia
Kath Dandy, store director of Specsavers in Okehampton, said: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our teams 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.’
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.
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.
, Bowen, M et al (July 2016) The Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia