“The Session reassured us that we were doing the right things for our customers, but also opened our eyes to some things we hadn't thought of - like the fact that speaking to someone with dementia in a mirror may be confusing for them.”
How does becoming a Dementia Friend benefit those in the Health and Beauty sector? Today we hear from Helen, from Simon Constantinou Hair & Beauty in Cardiff, about how Dementia Friends has equipped staff with the knowledge to provide a comfortable and welcoming space for everyone affected by dementia.
Tell us a bit about your experience of dementia and why staff at the salon decided to become Dementia Friends?
We are an established hair and beauty salon in Cardiff and have had experience interacting with clients at different stages of dementia, and their carers.
We’ve always been proud of our friendly and relaxing salon but wanted to ensure we were doing everything we could to create a safe and welcoming space for everyone affected by dementia.
Did you watch our video or attend an interactive virtual Session?
We became Dementia Friends by attending a virtual Session which was delivered by a Champion called Ingrid, who was fantastic.
What was your favourite part of the Session and how has it helped you as a salon?
The Bookcase Analogy was probably the message that stuck with us all the most.
The Session reassured us that we were doing the right things for our customers, but also opened our eyes to some things we hadn't thought of - like the fact that speaking to someone with dementia in a mirror may be confusing for them. Also, that offering a quieter private space in the salon could help the visit be stress-free.
I know that many clients with dementia have been shielding due to COVID, but we have been able to reassure their carers that we are able to provide a safe space for them to visit when they are ready.
How have you made changes in the Salon since becoming Dementia Friends?
In the salon we added clearer signage throughout (toilet signs & exits) and when preparing our COVID signage, we made sure it was as clear as possible. We’ve added a brightly coloured handrail to our step into the salon. We have informed all staff that the Private Room in the back of the salon is available to someone with dementia if needed.
Any words of wisdom for someone who is thinking of becoming a Dementia Friend?
The more people that understand dementia, the better a world there will be. It is important to help people to live well with dementia and becoming Dementia Friends has helped our salon take a step in the right direction.
We try to share the benefits of becoming Dementia Friends when we can, as we think this was fantastic valuable information and is so beneficial to any local business.
It was also really beneficial on a personal level for many of us. I found it helpful with my grandmother - how to explain who I was when she had forgotten, how to join her story if she had stepped back into her memories.
Thank you to Helen and everyone at Simon Constantinou Hair & Beauty.
Join Helen, and over 3 million others in the UK - become a Dementia Friend today.