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Nursing home hair stylists

May 30, 2010
by Kathleen Mears
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When I first came here, the facility hair stylist was here several days a week. Her days were not always long but she did arrive at 8 a.m. She would get her regular weekly residents as they went about their daily routines, knowing those routines as well as the aides. Most of the time she had a constant flow of residents into her shop the entire time that she was here.

I saw how the stylist did hair and I knew that she had to be just a bit older than me. The hairdos were similar to my mother's generation. When I asked the aides about whether I should get my hair done here or not, they suggested that I go elsewhere. But, not long after coming here, I had the stylist here cut my hair very short.

When I wanted a perm, I found it was difficult to get in with the stylist. She had so many regular customers and her special routine. So there were times the nurse would intercede so that I could get a perm.

I always thought the stylist should have an appointment book. Or, we residents should know how far ahead we had to make an appointment. But back then more female residents got their hair done weekly.

The stylist who was here for years retired. Now we have two hairdressers who work part time. They are only here for part of two days a week. It is still difficult to get in unless you have the phone number of either of the stylists. But our stylists are both very kind and for the most part work with us.

Prices have gone up a few times since I came here. They are now more comparable to those in the community.

Our beauty shop has needed a makeover for a long time. It used to be in a larger room which is now an office. It is now in the partitioned back half of the soiled utility room on this unit. There is no heat or air conditioning in the room, so it can get chilly in the wintertime if the dryers are not running and hot in the summertime. There are fans that somewhat help things, however.

I got my hair colored the other day while another resident was getting a perm. I do sometimes go out to get my hair done, but it is easier for me if I can get it done here.

I think that two stylists could travel to different facilities to do hair. That way they could each have work full-time. Our stylists usually work at a salon in the community and they work here before or after their other appointments.

I know that getting my hair done makes me feel better and I am sure it is the same for the other women here. There are several men here who want their hair cut on a regular basis and are unhappy if that does not happen. Maybe someday they will remove the wall between the lounge area and the beauty shop. It would provide better access, allow the stylists a view, and let the residents watch those who are getting their hair cut or curled.
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Comments

Again Kathleen you point out the importance of the everyday, the little things and that if we want to feel good about ourselves we also need to have work environments which are pleasing to the senses. Also having a beauty parlour with glass walls can provide interest as we are able to watch the transformations unfold ... like your hair changing colour ... what colour did you go for?
Keep writing about these things Kathleen, they confirm that the little things matter as much as the big things ... Take care Ralph

At an Assisted Living Facility my mother lived one of the CNAs was a trained beautitian and worked one full day a week as a beautitian. That seemed to provide services needed. She was always busy. There was a Skilled Nursing Facility also and that area had another beautitian.

Mom always liked her hair washed and set - as you say it make one feel better.

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...