Old-Fashioned Hair Salon & Tea Shop Open In Hospital’s Dementia WardC. Dixon
A hospital in Swansea, Wales, has opened an old-fashioned salon and tea shop within the hospital’s own walls, in the hopes that it will comfort their patients and bring back sweet memories.
Staff in the Onnen Ward at Cefn Coed Hospital came up with the idea. While caring for their patients’ hair and nails was already part of the treatment process in the ward, staff thought it would create a richer environment for them if their surroundings were a bit more familiar.
So the Serenity Hair and Beauty Salon and the Serenity Tea Shop were created.
The salon has a classic, old-fashioned vibe, with pink walls and accessories. Staff still coifs hair and trims nails, but there is also a hairdresser based at the hospital who uses the salon to cut and style hair now as well.
The women in the ward are from a generation that got their hair done regularly; now they can go once a week to get their hair done, even if they don’t do much to it.
And after they get their hair done, they can stop by the tea room that’s just a few steps away.
Clinical lead Deborah Morgan said, “If they do get distressed over anything, instead of giving them extra medication, a visit to the salon and tearoom can help calm them down.”
At the Serenity Tea Shop, the ladies can enjoy afternoon tea and cake, and socialize if they’d like. The teapots and cups are beautiful and antique-looking, and there are old magazines that they can browse as they wait for their appointment at the hair salon.
Having the salon and tea shop right on campus makes it easier for the patients to feel a little excitement about going out while keeping them in safe and familiar territory.
“The patients love coming to the tea shop, thinking they have an appointment to have their hair done at the same time,” said Helen Hall, the manager of Onnen Ward.
“A lot of the patients, who have dementia, are unable to communicate or do a lot of activities,” continued Hall, “but they respond well just by coming into this kind of scenario where they have the old fashioned cups and saucers. They really do enjoy coming here.”
In a different ward at Cefn Coed Hospital — the all-male Derwen Ward — a pub has been established to help the elderly men. There is now talk of sharing the pub between the male and female ward in the future, under staff supervision.
Learn more about the Serenity rooms in the video, then learn more about the pub by clicking the button below the video!