When I entered Capital Health and Rehabilitation Center in Little Rock, I was greeted by a person named “Niki,” who I found to be beautiful inside and outside. Nikitia Brown worked on the 11 – 7 shift as an CNA who just happens to be a licensed beautician since 1994. She has been working as a CNA in LTC for 26 years. Niki heard that Capital H & R was part of the 2017 culture change program. After finding out that the home was without a beautician, Niki went to the administrator and asked if she could do her part in the Culture Change program. That’s how it started folks … Niki got the job in July and is actively on the Culture Change Committee. In addition to changing the hairstyles of the residents, Niki is working on changing the culture of her home.
The beauty shop is open during the week from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.; however, the hours may change depending on the needs of her residents. Tim Gunter, the facility’s maintenance supervisor, located a barber pole light on Ebay, installed it and when the light comes on, Niki is open for business. “There is no charge to any of the residents, even if they want to pay,” Niki said. She purchases all supplies and Capital Health & Rehab reimburses her. Staff at the home also donate supplies to Niki, because who can resist her smile?
“I schedule one hall per day, reminding residents of appointments letting them know there is never a charge to come to the beauty shop,” Niki explains. Friday is the “free day,” as she calls it, explaining that’s a make-up day for anyone who was unable to attend on their scheduled day due to illness, visiting family, doctor appointments, etc. “They get pampered and spoiled,” Niki proudly admits. Men enjoy the hot towels, the barber brush and shaving cream, the shave and aftershave, and even hair dye. Some residents refuse to have anyone else provide shaving service ̶ they want to wait for Niki. The services for women include color, perms, extensions, wash, cut and style. There is a refrigerator set up with drinks, finger sandwiches, snacks and candy. Music and magazines are provided, and plans are to add a flatscreen TV to the wall. Residents like to sit outside of the beauty shop door to listen to the music.
“For residents who cannot come to the beauty shop, I go to their room,” Niki said as she displays the equipment she uses to provide in-room service. When leaving the facility, I was told by one of the nurses that a family member brought their parent to Capital Health and Rehabilitation because of the free beauty shop. This person-centered project has been great success.