Staff at a Specsavers store are ensuring they can help customers suffering from dementia.
Employees at the North Shields store are supporting Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, to help people develop an understanding of dementia.
Eddie O’Gara, store director of Specsavers in North Shields 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.”
Employees nationwide are completing a dementia awareness programme.
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.
“I’m delighted we are now offering this as part of our core training offer.”
Specsavers clinical spokesman Dr Nigel Best added: “People with dementia may experience problems with their sight which cause them to misinterpret the world around them. In some cases, those living with dementia can experience hallucinations.
“Specific types of dementia can also damage the visual system and cause visuoperceptual difficulties. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
“Rarer forms of dementia, such as posterior cortical atrophy can also cause visuoperceptual difficulties.
“Therefore it is vitally important that we recognise customers with dementia so that we can identify and look after their eyecare needs to the best of our ability.”