‘Queen for a Day’ Benchmark at Rye Residents Get Glamourous Makeovers for Mother’s Day

Sixteen Women with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Other Memory Disorders Honored for Giving to Their Families, Communities & More on Mother’s Day

an older woman looks into a handheld mirror

As the saying goes, “If you look good, you feel good.” On Friday, May 12, Benchmark at Rye, a Mind & Memory Care community committed to transforming lives through human connection, made sure that each of its female residents, regardless of their diagnosis, looked good and felt good leading up to Mother’s Day.

“Many of our resident moms have not only raised extraordinary families but have also had outstanding professional careers and gone to great lengths to give back to their communities,” said Rob Memmolo, executive director of Benchmark at Rye. “For months we thought about the best way to honor our resident moms, so we came up with this idea of making them feel like the queens that they are.”

Several residents were surrounded by family as they first had their hair styled by PS Salon followed by makeup that was skillfully applied by Joanne McDonough of Portsmouth’s Joya Beauty whose artistry has graced magazine covers and televisions over the past 20 years. The final step was a professional photo session with Chris Cote of Hampton who patiently worked with each resident to find the right pose for their portrait.

In total, 16 residents were made over, including 80-year-old Elaine Plaisted, a former special education teacher and mother of two who has vascular dementia. “It’s everything,” she said. “It’s the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me.”

“This is such a beautiful thing to do for my mom and all of the residents, we are overjoyed,” said Paul Sweeney, son of long-time resident, Hannah Sweeney, a former nurse at York Hospital.

“We’re looking forward to sharing the photos with all of our residents’ family members as a wonderful memento of someone who is incredibly important in their lives,” said Memmolo.

Benchmark at Rye