Staff at an Ellesmere Port opticians have become dementia friends.

The team in Specsavers at Marina Walk in the Port Arcades are now qualified to better understand the needs of customers suffering from dementia as all staff members how now completed Dementia Friends training.

Specsavers employees nationwide are completing the training in an initiative run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

In doing so they become recognised as a Dementia Friend with a badge to wear on their uniform to indicate their increased level of dementia awareness to customers.

Specsavers’ home and care home visiting teams are also completing the training.

Paul Quinton, store manager, 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 including how it affects people in different ways. With particular relevance to Specsavers it also describes how senses can be affected including sight and hearing.

Those with dementia commonly experience problems with their sight and visual perception causing them to misinterpret the world around them, according to Specsavers.

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.

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.”