LANSING, Mich. — Haircuts. Most of us took them for granted before COVID and as cases surge once again across the country nursing homes are trying to make sure seniors can still get hair cuts by hiring nurses who are also sylists. Chris Conte shows us how it's helping people manage the pressure.
The virus has seniors trapped, stuck inside for their own safety, but even there, it manages to find a way in. It’s causing a lot of depression, it’s causing a lot of depression, the staff too.
Tonya Dubois is the Director of Nursing for the Hillsborough County nursing home in Goffstown, New Hampshire.where at one point back in May, 150 residents were infected with COVID. They lost, 50 people.
"What people had to see, it was very hard, these staff members stayed and held their hands, they never died alone, it's been hard keeping the virus out."
Only two people here now have COVID. but in this and other nursing homes across the country, visitors are being kept out because of a new surge in cases.
"A lot of them don’t get to talk to people all day, some have family’s some don’t." Tammie Richard is also a nurse here. She noticed how depressed residents were getting during the spring without haircuts.
Because of COVID the beauty parlor had to be been shut down, so Tammie, who's also a cosmotologist, decided to take her show on the road, or at least down the hallway. They found a way to do trims and cuts and colors safely, just one patients room at a time.
"The touching, touching and talking to somebody, the hour, the half hour they love getting their hair done. I just want them to feel comfortable and relaxed and happy,with residents here cutoff from the outside world."
A simple cut, is doing wonders for these senior's mental health. Because Tammie is a licensed nursing assistant, she's considered essential. She can check residents vital signs while at the same time taking a little more off the top.
Nursing homes nationwide are now adopting similar ideas. They don’t have a lot of choices, so getting their hair done and telling me what they want, it just makes them feel good. "It makes them not feel as depressed, it makes them have a different level of comfort, it makes them feel normal again."
Not only is she keeping seniors looking young, she's helping them stay young at heart, bringing a little happiness to their lives so they can smile as this means a lot.
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