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20 July 2017

Hair, nails or make-up? Coate Water Care residents enjoy a little pampering!

Everybody deserves a little pampering in life, and people in their golden years – parents, grandparents, siblings, elderly friends – deserve a lot of pampering.

As for people living with dementia, ask the staff at Coate Water Care and they will tell you that care home residents with conditions like Alzheimer’s deserve extra special pampering; and medical experts definitely agree.

A recent study by researchers from the universities of Manchester and Stirling found that hairdressing and other appearance-related services can make a positive contribution to the broader therapeutic objectives of dementia care.

The study observed people with dementia in eight different care-based hair salons, as well as accompanying hairdressers on home visits. Salon visits, they found, could provide sensory cues and help reignite memories. Hairdressers often have close relationships with clients and can act as ‘keepers of stories’, reminding them of forgotten details, as well as offering emotional support.

“The salon is a very natural setting for reminiscing but also a place where people share insights about themselves,” says Richard Ward, senior lecturer in dementia studies at the University of Stirling. “The overarching message our research highlighted was that we need to rethink our understanding of appearance and the part it plays in the lives of people with dementia.”

Geraldine Smith, CEO of Coate Water Care, agrees: “We have always had professional stylists visit our care homes to take care of residents’ hair, and now we even have purpose-built salons. We are blessed with lovely hairdressers who are also experienced when it comes to the sensitivities of care homes - they come in once or twice a week and also for special occasions like parties or before outings.”

“The ladies might have their hair coloured or a perm and the men will have a trim; what they have in common is that they look forward to salon days and chatting to their personal hairdresser. For residents with more advanced dementia, we speak to their families and ask how they used to have their hair done, what they like and don’t like.”

Elaine Cass, development manager for The Social Care Institute for Excellence, says that personal preferences on haircare, body and facial hair removal, and nail care are paramount. “The most important thing for care home staff to remember is that it depends on personal wishes and preferences,” she says. “If they have always worn makeup, then having their make-up done will be important.”

Some Coate Water Care homes take pampering to luxury levels. With spectacular views across the Marlborough Downs, Downs View Care Centre in the quiet Wiltshire hamlet of Badbury is a delightful place to live, not least because Activities Organiser Amanda Yates has created a bespoke ‘Pamper Room’.

“Our hairdresser comes in once a week to do the ladies’ hair but the room is used throughout the week for all round pampering,” says Amanda. “Residents can get their nails done, have a hand massage or enjoy a foot spa. The room is decorated in relaxing lavender shades, and lava lamps and gentle music add to the relaxing atmosphere.”

Coate Water Care opened its first care home 22 years ago, so Geraldine Smith has had plenty of time to observe the positive impact a stylish perm or a colourful nail job can make. “Having their hair or nails done makes residents feel really good about themselves,” she says. “We all like to be pampered – whether you are living in a care home or your own home, we all like to feel special.”

Please contact our Welcome Team on 01793 821200 to discuss Residential or Day Care services or to arrange a visit to any of Coate Water Care’s seven care homes.

Download a copy of one of our home brochures.

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