When an elderly customer missed her regular 3 p.m. appointment last Thursday, hairdresser Lisa Buswell knew something was wrong. Buswell had been giving the woman a blow dry every Thursday for years.
Buswell, owner of Boston Hair Salon in Marblehead, asked one of the customer’s neighbors to check on her; after doing so, the neighbor found the woman lying at the bottom of her stairs, and called for help, Buswell said.
The woman had been there for 29 hours and was suffering from a broken hip, broken leg, fractured ribs, and dehydration, Buswell said.
Paramedics told her the woman would not have made it through the night.
“I’m just glad I did what I did,” said Buswell. “When you have a client like that, they become like family.”
Buswell visited her client in the hospital, where she is recovering from surgery. It will take a few months before she is well enough to return to her regularly scheduled appointment at the salon.
Once the woman is settled in a rehab center, Buswell said she hopes to do her hair there.
She hopes the incident will inspire others to check in on the elderly.
“Make that phone call every day,” she said.
Marblehead Police Chief Robert Picariello agrees.
“Always, as much as you can, check on your neighbors,” he said. Often, the elderly have a routine, he said, so it is a good idea to call police if something seems off. “We’d rather show up and see that someone is fine,” he said.