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Sunday 20 January 2019

WATCH: 'They feel like they're in the barber shop when they were young' - meet the barber catering for men with dementia

Kyle Ewald

A barber who specialises in giving haircuts to people with dementia has said that his services help his clients to feel young again.

Belfast-based Lenny White organises pop-up shops in nursing homes for those living with Dementia, and most recently brought his service to Swords Nursing Home in Dublin.

Mr White told RTE News: “When they come into the room, they feel like they are in the barber shop when they were young.

“We talk about things gone by, what they used to do, what they used to work at and their childhood.”

Mr White said he changed his career in the past two years to follow his passion, which is working with those living with Dementia. He has received special training on how to best communicate with people living with the condition.

“I just do it because I really have a passion to work with those living with Dementia. I changed my career in the past two years to do something I really enjoy,” said Mr White.

“He’s good-looking,” smiled Colm McCann, one of Mr White’s patrons at Swords Nursing Home, while looking in the mirror following a fresh haircut.

“I find [Colm] likes days like today because it changes his routine from week to week and he enjoys the company and the craic and that,” said Mr McCann’s brother Dermot.

There are 55,000 people living with Dementia in Ireland, it is progressive and there is currently no cure.

“The majority of people that were involved with Lenny today have a diagnosis of Dementia and they had a marvellous time,” said Irene O’Hanlon, the Director of Nursing at Swords Nursing Home.

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