Local man James Teague and his wife Marian joined staff at Specsavers in Omagh to highlight Dementia Awareness Week. James who is 79 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia three years ago and both he and wife Marian believe the Dementia Friends training really can make a difference to people who have the condition and their families.

Marian Teague said: ‘Donna, Emma and the staff at Specsavers have always been supportive to both Jim and myself. They take such great care of Jim and his every need is looked after in a very friendly and professional way.

'It’s a pleasure to pop into the store and know that Jim is given the time, care and attention that he needs.’

Training provides better understanding

Store staff completed Dementia Friends training, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society and the programme is part of a UK wide Specsavers dementia training initiative designed to help staff become qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.

The comprehensive training covers all aspects of dementia, discusses how it can affect each person differently and describes how senses can be affected, including sight and hearing. On completion of the training staff are recognised as ‘Dementia Friends’ with a badge to wear on their uniforms to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers.

Knowing our patients as friends

Store director Emma Finn said: ‘We come to know our patients as friends and we love to spend time with them and give our support no matter what everyone’s needs are.

'Being more aware of dementia and our staff completing the Dementia Friends training is an incredibly positive development for our team and the service we offer to patients and their families. With dementia patients, it’s important to have an understanding and empathy for their condition.

'James and Marian are an inspiration and are great fun every time they come into the store.’

All Omagh store information