Sunrise Senior Living Celebrates 40 Years

December 6, 2021

Today, Sunrise Senior Living marks a special milestone –  celebrating 40 years as an industry pioneer and a leading provider of senior communities that provide individualized experiences and best-in-class care. Founded by Paul Klaassen and Terry Klaassen in December of 1981 with a single community in Oakton, Virginia, their revolutionary, personalized approach has become the gold standard for the senior living industry. Today, Sunrise is one of the largest senior living providers in the United States and Canada, with the capacity to serve more than 28,000 seniors across 274 communities.

“When our founders, Paul Klaassen and Terry Klaassen, opened the first Sunrise community, their vision was to champion quality of life for all seniors, changing the model by offering resident-centered lifestyle services and care as residents age in a warm and nurturing environment with all the comforts of home,” said Jack Callison, chief executive officer for Sunrise. “Forty years later, it is an honor to not only maintain this legacy but also look for opportunities to positively impact even more seniors and their families. We will continue listen, learn, and innovate to benefit those who call Sunrise home as well as explore how we can evolve our best-in-class offerings to expand the reach of our incredible team and product.”

Coupled with the creation of Sunrise’s unique Principles of Service and Core Values, Sunrise set the foundation for a different type of senior community that placed the needs and preferences of residents first. Prior to Sunrise, long-term care was comprised mainly of impersonal environments in institutional settings or at-home care. Sunrise continues to lead the industry by developing new communities for residents to call home with innovative design, highly trained and dedicated team members, individualized health and wellness plans, and thoughtful, purpose-driven programming that provides each resident with opportunities to thrive.

“I could not be more proud as I reflect on how Sunrise has evolved these past 40 years while remaining committed to both our person-centered approach and our mission to champion the quality of life for all seniors,” said Founder Paul Klaassen. “Each Sunrise team member makes such an important impact in the daily lives of those we serve, and our legacy grows with each individual who contributes to our mission. I firmly believe the best senior living has yet to be invented and have great confidence in this Sunrise Team as it continues to carry out this mission and remain a leader in this gratifying field.”

The company’s evolution includes customized services and care tailored to individualized needs that supports each resident’s ability to lead an engaging and fulfilling lifestyle. Highlights include:

  • Engaging programming with meaningful activities that enrich residents’ minds, bodies, and spirits while empowering them to Live With Purpose™.
  • Award-winning environments – a welcoming spacious mansion with beautifully appointed common areas, personalized suites, and functional living spaces that are expertly designed to enable residents to maintain individuality while offering convenience, safety, and the comforts of home.
  • Individualized Service Plans delivered by Designated Care Managers who understand each resident’s unique needs based on their background, preferences, and hobbies. Plans continuously evolve with residents’ needs while preserving independence and enabling choice.
  • Curated menus that deliver homemade, delicious, and healthy meals through Sunrise’s Dining Program designed for resident tastes and preferences.
  • Industry-leading Memory Care programming for residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss within carefully designed Reminiscence Neighborhoods specifically created to provide comfort and security.
  • High-quality training, recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association®, which provides team members with evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations, including Validation Method techniques to empathize with each resident and enhance dignity.
  • Commitment to fostering family connections through innovative technologies, including the Sunrise family engagement app by Smile®, which provides families with information about each community’s events and activities, including photos, direct connection to activities coordinators, dining coordinators, team members, and designated care managers.
  • The distinctive Monogram collection with unique offerings to seniors in independent full-service communities.

Sunrise continues to develop its renowned communities that bring its leading, personalized approach to services and care to benefit more seniors and their families.  Its expanding portfolio embraces the individuality and history of each location, including its first community in Manhattan,  Sunrise of East 56th, in addition to four further communities planned for 2021 and early 2022.

For more information on Sunrise’s history, impact, and innovations that have established its leading position in the senior living industry as well as its plans for the future, please visit The Sunrise Blog.

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