A woman who was a trail-blazer for the cosmetics industry in the 1950s is being supported to continue enjoying her beauty regime at the dementia care home where she lives in Wellington, Somerset.
Gladys Bradley – known to everyone as Gem – was a pioneer in bringing Hollywood glamour to the high street, working for cosmetic giant Revlon within the nationwide chemist chain Timothy Whites & Taylors.
Her success led to her being sent to London to recruit customers there, where she received many rewards from the company including “staying in the best hotels and being wined and dined in posh restaurants”.
According to her daughter Fjona, Gem always said this was her favourite job and she absolutely loved it.
When Richard Dempslake – activities co-ordinator at Camelot House and Lodge where Gem now lives – heard this story he was determined that she should enjoy another full make-up experience, and arranged for her to receive a visit from beauty therapist, Deborah Stevens of Rosewood Beauty in Wellington.
Richard said: “We arranged for Deborah to visit as a treat for Gem, who helped so many other women enjoy their own beauty regimes during her time with Revlon.
“Gem still cares about how she looks, and it’s now our privilege to help her maintain her appearance. She was delighted to be on the receiving end of Deborah’s careful attention, and thoroughly enjoyed her beauty session.”
Gem was born and raised in Solihull, where she pursued her career with Revlon for five years after she married Stanley in 1950.
After the birth of their two daughters, she embarked on a 10-year career in teaching before she and Stanley relocated to Spain where they lived for the next two decades. The couple had the “amazing experience” of two world cruises in 1986 and 1996, and shared a love of theatre and live entertainment.
Richard Dempslake said: “It’s always so interesting to find out what makes others tick, and it’s really important that people with dementia should be supported to retain their dignity and continue to pursue any life-long interests wherever possible.”
To help achieve this, Camelot Care – the group which runs Camelot House and Lodge – ensures a full social programme at each of their four specialist dementia care homes, with events designed to appeal to a broad range of residents, as well as specialist activities tailored to suit specific individuals.
Further information on the homes, which are in Wellington, Bridgwater, Yeovil and Plymouth, see www.camelotcare.co.uk.