Members of staff at Specsavers in Rugeley have marked Dementia Awareness Week with a visit to a local care home, putting their creativity to the test by getting involved in the residents’ activities for the day.
The team greeted residents from Horsefair Care Home with homemade cakes and were soon helping them decorate their own baked goodies.
Store director Minal Naik said: ‘I always thought dementia was about someone’s memory – but it is much more than that. Getting involved in the activities at the care home, really opened my eyes to how everyone at the store can take a little more time to support and care for those customers with dementia that come in and see us.
The day was full of fun and laughter for all involved, and provided invaluable insight into how we can better understand the disease.’
Along with visiting the local care home, the Specsavers team is now qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia, having qualified as Dementia Friends – an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society. This training covers all aspects of dementia and 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.
Specsavers is 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.