GREAT FALLS — A trip to the barber shop is a social event for most. That’s no different for residents of The Ivy at Great Falls, a nursing home in Cascade County.
This Monday was well anticipated. Nine names etched a sign-up sheet for a haircut by three barbers - a service that has been missed for some time.
David Ludwig, who was the second in line to get his haircut, said, “I haven’t had a haircut in so long, I don’t remember.”
Gina Sambrano, who took the task of trimming his mane, made no attempt to cut outside of David’s “regular haircut.”
The barber shop is a community, a place for many to relax, be pampered, and enjoy conversation. For Ira Niemann, it is important for residents of Ivy to leave feeling confident and with a smile on their face.
“I feel like when I get a haircut, it's like I feel like on top of the world. So if I can give that to somebody who's probably, haven't had a haircut in two or three months. I think that's important; you know?” he stated.
There were smiles all around. It is a boost of spirit, and it is noticed around the building.
“The complete attitude change after a haircut is amazing.” said Matt Forester, a dietician for Ivy.
Director of Rehab Wendy Olson added, “I think they feel more like themselves. Again, especially our women that their weekly shampoo set or the perm. They love it. They walk around, people compliment. It makes them feel good.”
The “Ivy Barbershop” is a safe haven for Mr. Ludwig and all other residents; mentioning that he moved into the facility after the passing of his wife.
At 80 years old, he still hasn’t stopped loving her. He even touched on her hairstyle, “I love the way she gets her haircut. Beautiful. Everything about her is beautiful.”
The goal is long term for Ira and the team of barbers, to mend friendships that create a line outside the door. A day that they hope is around the corner.
Ivy previously had a beautician who donated her time, and since then, Double Take Barber Shop has been given the reins.
The residents make it worth the barber’s time, sliding a little money their way at the door. For Double Take, it’s all about sharing their passion for the craft.
“You’re doing a great job, right. I can’t get over it. Most people don’t know how to cut my hair.”
It’s apparent that Mr. Ludwig will be back soon.
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