As the nation marked Dementia Awareness Week, staff at Specsavers in Torquay are highlighting their understanding of the needs of customers suffering from dementia.

As part of a nationwide push Specsavers employees are completing Dementia Friends training, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

On completion they become recognised as 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 are also completing the training.

Raising awareness to help dementia sufferers

Simon Simmonds, store director of Specsavers in Torquay said: ‘Being more aware of dementia is an incredibly positive development for our team 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 can all take a little time to support and care.’

What is the link between dementia and 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.

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