The team at Specsavers in Washington have completed dedicated training to become better qualified to understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia.

Staff have finished the Dementia Friends course, an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society, which is being undertaken by Specsavers teams across the country.

The team have become recognised Dementia Friends and wear a badge on their uniforms to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers.

Close to the heart

Optical assistant Lisa Webb said she was proud to get involved and explained what inspired her to find out more: 'For me it was personal because I have experience of dementia within my family. It can be hard to understand why someone can remember something that happened a long time ago but not today, or why they might not quite seem themselves.

'I found the course really emotional and thought it was great to have someone explain the facts about dementia, allowing me to better understand it and to empathise. I think there should be more awareness and encouraging people to learn more is something I’m passionate about.'

A word from the director

Robin Stuart, ophthalmic director at Specsavers Washington, also undertook the training and said: ‘It’s been a really illuminating course, giving us the ability to understand the needs of those suffering from dementia.

‘I now have the confidence to care for any customer who comes in-store and needs additional help because of a condition like Alzheimer’s.’

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