Jenny Twigg is the owner of Lily Pins, the UK’s only provider of dementia-trained hairdressers.
She’s been working as a hairdresser for over fifteen years now but several years ago took on some casual work cutting hair in a care home once a week. Her contact with care homes led her to taking on a few shifts as a care worker herself, little knowing where it would lead.
“I found it overwhelming at first. I was really naïve and just didn’t realise people lived to that age”.
She may well have continued down this route, never connecting the two roles, except for a ‘eureka’ moment when a client’s daughter happened to say to her…
“I can’t believe my Mum let you cut her hair. She normally won’t let anyone near her”.
Jenny realised that her dementia training as a care worker had enabled her to make her client’s feel relaxed and comfortable without her even realising it.
And that was how Lily Pins began. She began to hire hairdressers, some of whom had done care work before, some of whom she trained so that there are now twelve official Lily Pin hairdressers serving a total of eighteen care homes in Kent, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. She’s even recently started employing beauticians and chiropodists!
When asked about the ethos behind her business Jenny said “It’s all about individuality. People over 80 shouldn’t all look the same and it’s for the families too. Can you imagine if it was your Mum?”
As you can imagine, everyone here at Magar Health was delighted come across Jenny’s website. Maintaining dignity into old age, especially in care homes, is a huge part of our company’s ethos and was the drive behind a lot of our products like the CAMEL and the ELK.
This philosophy of maintaining dignity isn’t just a matter of opinion though, it’s backed up with hard research from organisations like The Social Care Institute for Excellence. Their Dignity in Care guide concluded that an individual’s appearance is actually integral to their self-respect.
Elaine Cass, the Practice Development Manager at S.C.I.E elaborated on the report saying care homes should always try to take personal preferences on haircare, body and facial hair removal and nail care into account when developing Personnel Care Plans for individuals with dementia. “The most important thing for care home staff to remember is that it depends on personal wishes and preferences. If they have always worn makeup, then having their makeup done will be important. It’s about what they want to do because not everything is for everyone”
Do you work at or run a care home? Want more information? You can get in touch with Jenny Twigg at Lily Pins here.