Look good, feel good

Nothing makes me feel better than after I get my periodic “root canal.” No, I don’t have a thing for pain—I’ m talking about getting my hair colored. While I might get this service four or five times a year, I remember my mother going every single week for a “shampoo and set.”

Going to the hairdresser was a lifelong routine for her. Even as she grew older, I would drive her to her weekly appointment to keep her fashion-forward. Rain, snow, sleet…you name it.  I’d help her skirt puddles with her walker, navigate snowbanks. She felt like a queen when the guy who does our hair came out to escort her into his shop.

My mom’s not unique in that respect. A recent Cleveland.com blog reminded me how important that weekly outing was. Face it—regardless of our ages, women always want to look good! In my community, Devon Oaks, an assisted living community in Westlake, OH, is one of 173 retirement communities and nursing homes that have teamed with Salon PS, to provide its residents with a salon atmosphere and services.

The company takes its name from the two owners John Polatz and Scott Fisher. The PS mimics the postscript in a letter. In the blog, Fisher explained: "We’re to a community what a postscript is to a letter. We’re not the main attraction; we’re an amenity."

Not only does Salon PS offer its service in a vintage setting, with wicker furniture and photos of Hollywood’s immortals on the walls, but its primary focus is on the resident experience. The salon offers mother/daughter “duet” services where they can get beautified together.

Even residents with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are well taken care of by stylists and manicurists who know how to communicate and recognize signals. They know when to make eye contact and when to use a softer, nonthreatening touch.

Residents feel more empowered not relying on someone to take them for an outside appointment. They can have their hair or nails done on their schedule, not someone else’s. I know many, if not most, facilities offer salon services. Are they busy? Are they a destination for socialization? Is it a vibrant part of the community?

These ladies (and gentlemen) love to look good. Don’t miss an opportunity to make them feel good, too.

Topics: Activities , Alzheimer's/Dementia