The world can be a scary place when living with dementia, and that's why we train our opticians and hearing specialists how to communicate well with customers who have dementia.
Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65, with one in 14 people in this age group having dementia, and the likelihood of developing the condition increases significantly with age. However, it can affect younger people too.
At OutsideClinic, we predominantly visit older people. Our research shows that dementia is either the primary reason for a health visit or detailed in a patient's general health.
Our opticians and hearing specialists are in a very privileged position to be asked to visit people in their own homes. And this has many advantages in that we can tailor each visit to each individual.
We see a wide range of people, some with no cognitive impairment, others with more complex needs. Some people we see may require additional support, and we would always encourage a loved one to be present if possible.
Our Professional Services Manager and Optometrist, Matt Burford, said: "Visiting a patient in an environment which is comfortable for them is helpful to alleviate the stress that they may feel. Our opticians are scheduled for longer appointments than is typical in most high street practices allowing the opticians time to complete a thorough eye test at a pace to suit each patient."
All OutsideClinic opticians and hearing care specialists are trained to help communicate effectively with people with dementia to productively complete a thorough eye test and ensure that the person is relaxed and comfortable with us being there.
"As part of our bespoke induction programme, Optometrists are given additional training, and CET accredited articles on Understanding Dementia, The Mental Capacity Act and Safeguarding. We also hold regular education events for all staff, including inviting the Virtual Dementia Bus for previous events," said Matt.
We care about our patients, so we will do all we can to help with sight and hearing problems, and if that means taking a slower pace during the appointment, then we have the time to do that. It's important that whether you have dementia or not that you have regular eye and hearing tests, so don't be afraid to ask us to your home. Our opticians and hearing specialists are friendly, professional and warm, and they are here for you.