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Paying attention to the person

Giving each person the care and attention they need...

The simple act of conversation is a fundamental act many of us engage in daily to establish who we are, what we need and how we can help others.

Understanding the correct turn of phrase and basic language skills are all we need to do this.

We all have different needs that need communicated, whether it’s help with mobility or how we take our tea, they are all equally important.

Now, if you have this ability taken away from you, the world around you is suddenly a very frustrating and difficult place to be in.

It can have a significant impact on a person and can result in a loss of confidence, anxiety or even depression.

Without that ability to interact with others, we lose our ability to define our identity by not being able to express our specific needs when we need to.

Dementia can make the simple act of communication extremely hard and frustrating, and is the reality for many we assist every day to help them achieve better vision.

The only way we can make this a reality is to pay very close attention to every single person we assist in care residences across the UK.

Visioncall opticians are all trained to be compassionate, receptive and to above all treat people with respect.

We fundamentally believe in putting the person before anything else as each person has a right to sight, regardless of any disease or condition which affects them.

Getting to the source of any vision complaints or underlying problems is essential for our opticians, and being able to communicate what they need and how we suggest we deal with their eyesight is key.

This can only be made possible by having a real understanding of how dementia can affect a person and paying close attention them.

For every person we assist, we will adapt our approach to best suit their needs and remain compassionate.

At the beginning of every appointment, our opticians will introduce themselves and what they are there to do in a clear and simple manner.

It may seem basic, but even this makes a huge difference for a person living with dementia, helping them establish who is talking is addressing them personally and what they can expect from them.

Above all else it helps to engage the person, and their response can give our opticians all the information they need in how to continue.

The person may be able to respond well, and from here we can explore subjective testing methods – i.e. requiring a response from the person.

In other cases, say a person is showing clear signs that they struggle to communicate basic words, then an objective means of testing will be an appropriate means of testing – i.e. does not require a verbal response.

Our opticians can also make use of Visioncall’s Lifestyle Questionnaire and Lifestyle Passport in cases where the person is struggling to communicate.

These documents help our opticians (and the person’s carer) know what activities they enjoy every day and what glasses they need/have for them.

They also reinforce our commitment to delivering a person-centred service to everyone we assist.

Above all else however, it serves its purpose in helping a person who cannot communicate their needs easily get the care they require.

It is only by paying close attention to each person and what they need we can make sure they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

To find out more about our dementia sight test, please click here.