The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Work sat­is­fac­tion

Ali­cia Tereskiewi­c­zova tells P&J Re­cruit­ment about the skills she uses to help care for el­derly care home res­i­dents

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When I trained as a beauty ther­a­pist in Slo­vakia, I never imag­ined my­self mov­ing to the north-east of Scot­land and of­fer­ing a very spe­cial and unique ser­vice for res­i­dents of a care home for the el­derly.

In 2009, I came to Scot­land for a six-week holiday to visit my best friend. Three weeks in, I met my boyfriend, fell in love and we de­cided to make Scot­land our home. My friend was work­ing at Ru­bis­law Park Nurs­ing Home in Aberdeen and I was for­tu­nate to get work there, ini­tially in the kitchen and then adding ex­tra hours as a cleaner. When peo­ple started to discover my background, and en­cour­aged by my boss at the time, I started vol­un­tar­ily stay­ing on af­ter shifts to paint peo­ple’s nails or do hand mas­sage and in­stantly loved it. Then, when the fa­cil­ity was bought and re­fur­bished by its cur­rent own­ers in 2015, I was de­lighted to be taken on as a full-time beauty ther­a­pist – with my very own treat­ment room within the home.

It was very new for some of the res­i­dents, and we thought that some might take a while to get used to the cleaner do­ing their nails, but it was an instant hit and now I’m very busy all day, ev­ery day – I think some res­i­dents would come to get their nails done ev­ery day if I had the time. Do­ing nails and mas­sages are the most pop­u­lar ther­a­pies, and I’ve re­cently started do­ing fa­cials for some peo­ple. These use gen­tle, nat­u­ral prod­ucts, such as co­conut oil, which won’t da­m­age frag­ile or sen­si­tive older skin.

It’s vi­tal that I can be flex­i­ble in my di­ary – some­times a res­i­dent who has de­men­tia may have planned to have their nails done but, when I get there, the time is not right for them. If that’s the case, I will try later or the fol­low­ing day and catch up with some­one else in the mean­time. I also need to be flex­i­ble in where I work, so if some­one does not want to or feel able to come to my treat­ment room, I will spend time with them in a lounge or in their own room, de­pend­ing on where they will be most com­fort­able and re­laxed.

At any age, a beauty treat­ment can give you a boost, as it’s al­ways nice to feel pam­pered, but I think there is a lot more to it for my clients. As well as the treat­ment it­self, the one-to-one time that comes with an ap­point­ment is very im­por­tant, es­pe­cially for res­i­dents who may not have fam­ily liv­ing nearby. Of­fer­ing a lis­ten­ing ear, time and com­pan­ion­ship is of­ten as ther­a­peu­tic as the beauty treat­ment it­self. If some­one spends all day sit­ting on their own in a room feel­ing that the world is pass­ing them by, that is not good for res­i­dent’s well­be­ing, so hav­ing some­one spend time with them can have hugely pos­i­tive ef­fects.

I of­ten try to take the ser­vice a step fur­ther by tak­ing a res­i­dent out­side for a walk af­ter they’ve had their nails done, or spend­ing time en­joy­ing books in the li­brary af­ter a fa­cial. The temp­ta­tion of a lit­tle pam­per ses­sion can of­ten en­cour­age peo­ple to spend time away from their room, which is al­ways good – it all adds to the whole ex­pe­ri­ence for the res­i­dent and makes their liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment as spe­cial as possible.

Although I may never have pre­dicted work­ing with older peo­ple, I love it and am hum­bled by how much my work means to res­i­dents. I get my great­est sat­is­fac­tion from see­ing res­i­dents happy – and the fact that no one has said “no” to a treat­ment yet.

 ??  ?? Beauty ther­a­pist Ali­cia Tereskiewi­c­zova
Beauty ther­a­pist Ali­cia Tereskiewi­c­zova

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