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The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society's New Hairdressing Salon Gives Residents A Fresh Lease of Life

A care home in Surrey has given its residents a new lease of life – and hair style - by becoming one of the first homes of their size to open an on-site hairdressing salon.

The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society, which provides dedicated accommodation and care to former seafarers, launched the salon following research which documents the health and well-being benefits to elderly residents of a visit to the hairdressers in terms of boosting self-esteem and sense of independence.

The evidence has already proved the research correct, as just a few weeks after opening, the salon is a hive of activity, with a growing appointment list as residents queue to be coiffed and groomed.

The success has prompted the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society to consider making additional treatments such as manicures, pedicures and reflexology available at the salon.

Anne Kasey, Home Manager at The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society, explains:

"I had read a number of articles about the benefits of a visit to the salon for elderly ladies in terms of increasing well-being and self-worth, because it's the sort of thing ladies do and the sort of thing they did when they were younger.

"The salon has proved to be incredibly popular. All the ladies look forward to the days when the salon is open and feel better for having their hair done, it gives them an enormous boost and lifts their spirits."

Although many of the bigger care homes have on-site hairdressers, the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society is leading the way among the smaller homes who rarely have such facilities available.

Commander Brian Boxall-Hunt OBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society, said:

"We are always looking for ways to enhance our residents' quality of living and the salon has already made a huge impact and really given residents a new lease of life. We constantly stay abreast of developments and new treatments in the care sector and run a specialist dementia care unit, however sometimes it is the really simple pleasures in life which can make the most difference."

The Royal Alfred Seafarers Society has introduced a number of innovative treatments including music therapy which can help dementia sufferers to unlock memories and connect with loved ones, reducing feelings of isolation and improving confidence and self-image.

The Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society is a registered charity and was established in 1865. It is incorporated under the Royal Charter, with HRH the Princess Royal as its patron. It provides nursing, dementia and respite care to retired seafarers and residents of non-seafaring backgrounds from across the UK. Under the Royal Charter, 'seafarers' include Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, fishermen and port workers, as well as their widows, widowers or dependants.

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