Oh, What a Difference a Haircut Makes!

From left: Jorge Romero with Mr. Palmieri, sporting a fabulous head of hair, and Mr. Peninpede, looking good!

These are trying times indeed, with very serious and somber implications, coupled with petty annoyances that threaten to put us all over the edge. Among them, unruly and burdensome hair.

Just ask Felix Peninpede and Giuseppe Palmieri, RVNAhealth hospice patients at Wilton Meadows who, as the pandemic wore on, found themselves desperately in need of a trim. “It’s the little things,” says Lauren Messina, RN, of RVNAhealth who recognized the men’s frustrations and sounded the alarm for help. “Their long hair was driving them both crazy — even though it looked quite handsome and their wealth of hair is very impressive!” 

Enter the RVNAhealth wishes program, which works to grant hospice patients their special wishes, both small and big.  “In this case, the wish was relatively straightforward,” explains MJ Heller, Director of Philanthropy, who helps manage the heartwarming program. “We simply needed a barber and a nice day!”

And both were granted.  Jorge Romero, a Ridgefield Police Officer as well as a licensed barber at A2 Salon in Ridgefield, was happy to volunteer his services and free time. And the late spring weather has been just right for al fresco barbering.  Romero arrived in proper barber regalia, plus mask, gloves and shield, along with haircutting gear and musical accompaniment from decades gone by.

“Mr. Peninpede favors songs from the 1930s,” says Jorge, “so we enjoyed our time together, sharing stories, and accompanied by the sounds of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. It was a wonderful experience for me and both gentlemen seemed very pleased with their cuts. We all feel better when our hair is in order.” 

Ellen Casey, administrator at Wilton Meadows, was in full agreement. “The comfort, health and happiness of our residents is always our top priority and it was a treat to have such a creative solution to an irksome – but solvable – problem. Next time around, I might get a haircut myself!”

The RVNAhealth wishes program is made possible by a grant from the Ridgefield Thrift Shop. While this wish came with no expenses, the program has supported the desires of many RVNAhealth hospice patients, offering such treats as an evening out on the town, to a small cheese pizza.

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