Hairdressing Helpers Hit Care Homes
Personal grooming is important in maintaining a sense of well-being, and now hairdressers trained in dementia care are bringing their skills into the care home environment. It’s long been known that personal appearance has a powerful effect on an individual’s sense of dignity and self-respect, and a new breed of beautician is ensuring people in dementia care homes can enjoy a pampering session too.
Just because a person is suffering from dementia, it doesn’t mean that they no longer care about the way they look. Jenny Twigg, the founder of Lily Pins, has spent over 15 years cutting the hair of older people, and she understands the powerful impact that personal grooming services can have on the life of care home residents.
As the only provider of dementia-trained hairdressers in the UK, Jenny knows that her company provides an important service to her older clients. We all want to present our best face to the world, and that means having a good haircut, trimmed nails and a touch of make-up for those women who choose to use it.
Jenny realised early in her career that her training in dementia care gave her an advantage when it came to doing the hair of residents. Dementia can cause care home residents to be more challenging than a hairdresser’s usual clients, so specific training in dealing with people with dementia is incredibly useful.
The Benefits of Personal Grooming
According to the Dignity in Care guide produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, personal appearance is completely integral to a person’s self-respect, and this doesn’t change simply because someone is suffering from dementia. A trip to the hair salon, barber or beauty parlour has long been seen as an essential treat, with hairdressers and beauticians seen as people to chat with and even confide in. The sights, sounds and smells of the hair and beauty salon can help to unlock lost memories and reassure the individual that their appearance is still important.
The Institute suggests taking the time to uncover a person’s tastes when it comes to personal grooming to ensure that hair styles, colours and make-up conform to their own tastes, not just those of the stylist. Some dementia sufferers are unable to communicate effectively, in which case it suggests asking friends and family about likes, dislikes and personal preferences. There would be little benefit in applying a face of make-up to a resident who has never been accustomed to its use, but for someone who previously liked to present an immaculately made-up face to the world, some time spent with a beautician could be a powerful morale booster.
Care homes in West Sussex and beyond are starting to understand the impact that a new hair colour and style can have on residents, with many new-build care homes now including a beauty salon as part of their design plans. For established care homes, the introduction of hair-dressing services, such as those offered by Lily Pins, gives residents the opportunity to enjoy a pampering session that leaves them looking and feeling their absolute best.