Inspired by visits to his grandparents in Netherlands assisted care homes (called verzorgingstehuizen) and witnessing her father’s struggle to care for her terminally ill mother at home, Sunrise Senior Living founders Paul & Terry Klaassen had a passion for quality elder care well before they ever opened the doors at their first community. After volunteering at health and senior care communities for several years, the Klaassens opened the first Sunrise community in 1981. The couple transformed the formerly boarded-up nursing home in Northern Virginia to reflect the warm, home-like atmosphere of the verzorgingstehuizen and avoid the institutional feel of most long-term care facilities on the market at that time. In that first year of operation, the Klaassens lived there too, caring for the residents themselves as the company grew.
Now, 30 years later, there are over 300 Sunrise Senior Living communities in the US, Canada, and the UK. Primarily offering assisted living care, Sunrise also provides independent living options, specialized Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, short-term stays, and nursing and rehabilitative care.
To mark this anniversary, staff joined with residents and their family members in sharing by video a glimpse of their Sunrise experience. Visit the Sunrise Senior Living blog to hear their stories.
Your turn: Even if you or a loved one does not live in a Sunrise community, we’d love to hear your senior living story. Please share it in the comments section below.