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Opticians staff train to better understand dementia

PUBLISHED: 09:35 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:48 19 May 2017

Staff at Specsavers undergo Dementia Friends training. Photo: Specsavers

Staff at Specsavers undergo Dementia Friends training. Photo: Specsavers

Specsavers

As the nation marks Dementia Awareness Week, employees at an opticians with branches across the region 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.

Martin McCormack, optical regional chair of Specsavers in Norfolk and Suffolk 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, we can all take a little time to support and care.”

The comprehensive training covers all aspects of dementia and discusses how it affects people in different ways. With particular relevance to Specsavers it also describes how senses can be affected, including sight and hearing.

Specsavers learning and development manager Samantha Jessop added: “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.”

The stores involved included Diss, East Dereham, Fakenham, Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich, and Thetford.

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