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Comfort can be found in form of shampoo and set

July 26, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

While Pastor Reginald Rice serves the spiritual needs of the residents of Homewood at Williamsport, he will be the first to admit that comfort also can come in the form of a shampoo, a set and a good styling.

"It's the best therapy you can get," Rice said recently when discussing the benefits of having beauticians available to the women and men who call Homewood home.

Throughout the Tri-State area, many nursing homes and assisted-living centers understand the importance of providing such services.

Lisa White has been the beautician at Homewood for the past 10 years. Three part-time stylists work with her.

"The residents are so very grateful, the men and women both," White said.

Ten years ago, White said, she was working at a commercial salon when she started looking around for something different.

"I came to Homewood and it has been perfect for me," she said.

When new residents move into Homewood, they fill out a form with information about the services offered in the salon, White said.


"It's part of the process - they attach a photograph and say what they want and how they would want their hair styled," White said.

Once the resident has settled in, appointments can be made Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

"It's hard to take walk-ins here," White said.

Homewood residents are billed for the services they receive at either of the two salons, one in the main building and the other at the assisted-living facility known as Hilltop which is open just two days a week.

"Sometimes the residents come in just to chat, and that's fine too," White said.

Visitors welcome

Visiting also goes on at the Williamsport Retirement Village salon which recently underwent an expansion and renovation.

Jane Alley, who has been the retirement village's beautician for seven years, said residents consider the salon a gathering place.

Just ask Ray Shirey, 88, a resident and a patron of the salon.

"She does a good job or I wouldn't come back here," Shirey said with a smile for his favorite beautician.

Before the recent renovation, the Williamsport Retirement Village salon shared space with the activities department and both needed more room. Now there is even a bench in the salon for the residents who come in and want to sit for a spell.

"I often find residents peeking and waving through the window that looks out into the dining room," Alley said.

Agnes Miller, 91, got her hair done on a recent Monday afternoon and was pleased with the results. Never good at doing her own hair, Agnes said she really likes the way Alley styles her locks.

"It's important for me to have my hair done," Agnes said. "I always had somebody do it once a week before I came here."

At Williamsport Retirement Village, the cost of using the beauty salon is included in the resident package, Alley said.

No tips allowed

And, she added, "I don't take tips, unless it's a kiss or a hug."

A North Hagerstown High School graduate, Alley got her training at Award Beauty School in Hagerstown.

"For 25 years, I operated the beauty cart at Washington County Hospital every Wednesday," going door to door offering beauty services, she said.

White got her training at the Career Studies Center, now Washington County Technical High School.

So did Lisa DeLauney who provides beautician services to residents of the Western Maryland Hospital Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown.

"I volunteer at Western Maryland every other Monday, usually from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sometimes later," DeLauney said. "It's a wonderful feeling working there."

She gives permanents, haircuts and color as well as styling for men and women.

"The residents pay a small price, which is set by Western Maryland," DeLauney said.

She has been doing hair at Western Maryland for about two years, coming off a 14-year stint as a beautician at the Potomac Center on Marshall Street in Hagerstown.

She also works at Hair Changes in Maugansville.

At Heartland of Martinsburg in West Virginia, Noreen Harvey has been doing hair for men and women for nine years part time.

"The men love it ... they love the attention," Harvey said.

She started doing hair when she was 17, getting her training at the West Virginia College of Beauty Culture in Martinsburg.

"Family members will suggest a style or I'll look at a picture and talk with the resident," Harvey said. She said she also does nails and will provide makeup services, too, if they are needed.

Alley started at Williamsport Retirement Village cutting hair and then took over from longtime hairdresser Florence Repp seven years ago.

The salon hours there are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoons until the work is finished.

"The residents tell what they used to do with their hair," Alley said. "Photos and family members help, too."

Volunteers transport the residents to and from the retirement village salon. Other volunteers also do manicures for residents, Alley said. "It all becomes an event for them."

On Saturdays, Alley works at the House of Hair where for the past 20 years, she has dealt with customers of all ages.

"I get some of the WRV staff members there for styling," she said.

Alley said she believes she has a dream job at the retirement village.

Rice isn't the only one at Homewood who notices the boost a little beauty pampering can have on the residents there.

Allison Nardi , weekend nursing supervisor on the 3 to 11 p.m. shift at Homewood, gave an example of a resident who sometimes is less than cheerful.

"But when she has had her hair appointment, she is regenerated," Nardi said. "We tell her she looks beautiful and she acts beautiful and it's all because she feels beautiful."

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