As the nation marks Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May), the team at Specsavers in Tavistock 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.
Dementia education for staff to benefit customers
Sarah Routly, store director of the Specsavers store in Tavistock, says: ‘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.’
What affect does dementia have on eye sight?
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.
Why dementia training?
Specsavers learning and development manager Samantha Jessop said: ‘By providing dementia awareness training we are taking necessary steps to equip all colleagues with the necessary skills to support all of our customers and continue to provide the same excellent service that we pride ourselves upon, regardless of the personal struggles any of our customers may be facing.’
, Bowen, M et al (July 2016) The Prevalence of Visual Impairment in People with Dementia