Volunteer hairstylist provides social outlet for seniors at Capitol Commons

“My social life is pretty much doctors appointments.”
Loneliness among older adults is a growing concern, but one hair stylist in Lansing is taking action to combat this issue.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:27 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - According to a new study from the University of Michigan, a third of adults over the age of 50 report feeling isolated from others.

Researchers attribute this in part to the three years of the pandemic. But there are those like Priscilla Mitchell who are taking action to combat this issue.

Once a month, Mitchell volunteers her time to cut hair at Capitol Commons Senior Living. She said for some of the seniors it’s the only social interaction they have had in a while.

“It makes me feel good to give back,” Mitchell said. “As they get older, a lot of them don’t have transportation, some of them don’t have kids or anybody to help them, so I continue to do this and be blessed.”

For residents like Bonnie Keenan, getting a haircut is more than just a blowout and a bang trim.

“No, I don’t [get out much],” said Keenan. “My social life is pretty much doctor’s appointments.”

Doctors’ appointments and a haircut are Keenan’s social outlets. Her daughter is far away and she doesn’t get many visitors.

“I love music, I am not at all musical, but anybody who would want to come to play music, it would really be nice,” Keenan said.

Vietnam Veteran Charles King also looks forward to PJ’s visits, not just for a haircut but also for the chat.

“Before I moved here and met PJ, I was getting a haircut maybe three or four times a year. Now with her here I get a haircut every month.”

Three souls connected by haircuts and kindness. Mitchell’s mother inspired her to start cutting seniors’ hair, and she has donated her time doing it for over 20 years.

Guests at Capitol Commons said they’d love fitness classes and musical guests to visit.

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