More than a haircut – volunteer provides much-needed human touch

Ketchikan | June 13, 2019
PeaceHealth volunteer trims the hair of nursing home resident
Residents get more than a new ‘do at New Horizons Long Term Care Unit at PeaceHealth Ketchikan
“People need human touch,” says Cathy Cooley, a volunteer at PeaceHealth Ketchikan. She had just finished giving a neck massage to Merle Wolfe and was cutting her hair at Ketchikan Medical Center’s New Horizons Long Term Care Unit. 
PeaceHealth volunteer gives elderly resident a haircut
Merle is a resident at New Horizons, PeaceHealth’s only nursing home. A section of the activity room is dedicated to a small beauty and barber shop with a special sink and stylist’s chair. 
It’s there that Cathy, a professional stylist since 1980, volunteers her services once a month for clipping and styling and neck massages. She started volunteering when Activities Director Marguerite Auger asked her to help.
“Cathy gives so much more than a haircut!” Marguerite says, “She truly cares about each resident. She is always willing to squeeze another person into her busy schedule. She engages them in meaningful conversation, and always compliments them on how nice they look. Her gentle caring touch, and her infectious smile brightens up the residents’ day!”
Cathy is more modest, “I like people,” she says with a smile, barely looking up from combing Merle’s hair. “It makes me feel good too.”