Sunrise Senior Living Celebrates 35 Years of Serving Families


Monday, December 5, 2016 12:00 am EST


McLean, VA
"When our founders, Paul and Terry Klaassen, opened the first Sunrise community, their vision was to change the model of caring for seniors in the U.S. by offering resident-centered care in a warm and nurturing environment that provided all the comforts of home"

McLean, VA — Sunrise Senior Livingtoday marks a special milestone, with the celebration of 35 years of providing high-quality, resident-centered care for seniors and their families. Founded in 1981, Sunrise has grown from a single assisted living community in Oakton, Va., to serving residents in nearly 320 communities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Prior to Sunrise, long-term care options were limited to either home care or institutional settings. Sunrise pioneered the resident-centered care philosophy and created the Principles of Service and Core Values that continue to guide Sunrise’s personalized care and service today. 

“When our founders, Paul and Terry Klaassen, opened the first Sunrise community, their vision was to change the model of caring for seniors in the U.S. by offering resident-centered care in a warm and nurturing environment that provided all the comforts of home,” said Chris Winkle, chief executive officer for Sunrise. “Today, we continue to innovate in all areas of our organization to help ensure we provide care in a manner that supports our founding principles.”

Sunrise has evolved throughout the years by offering more care and services tailored to residents’ individualized needs. Each community works closely with physicians, community health partners and family members to help ensure every resident receives the care required to effectively manage their health and wellness needs. Highlights of Sunrise’s superior care and services:

  • Individualized Service Plans for every resident, containing information about their healthcare needs but also details about their background, hobbies, preferences, dislikes and more. These plans are complemented by a Designated Care Manager who gets to know residents on a personal level, helping to spot any subtle changes in condition.

  • Sunrise CareConnect, an enhanced electronic health record system to support our resident-centered approach to care and services.

  • Reminiscence Neighborhoods that are specially designed to provide comfort and security in a separate environment for those in need of memory care. Team members are trained to use techniques of the Validation Method in order to empathize with each resident and enhance their dignity.

  • Enhanced programming that provides activities that enrich the mind, body and spirit of residents to enable them to Live With Purpose.

  • A variety of healthy and delicious meal options through Sunrise’s Dining Program, which allows communities to choose from six different menus based on resident preferences, along with the option to view each week’s menu and nutritional info online.

  • The Design team draws upon their expertise in both interior design and senior care, to create environments tailored for comfort, convenience and safety.

Families can look to Sunrise for a growing number of resources and support, including a blog, Caregiver Guide, community support groups, and a newly released podcast, The Senior Caregiver. Read more on how Sunrise has continued to innovate to meet the unique needs of seniors as it relates to care, programming, dining and community design.


About Sunrise Senior Living

Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based company, employs approximately 32,000 people. As of Dec. 1, 2016, Sunrise operated 318 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 15 Gracewell Healthcare communities, with a total unit capacity of approximately 28,400. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss, as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by team members who are trained to encourage independence, preserve dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. For ongoing information about Sunrise communities and senior-related topics, read The Sunrise Blog and follow us on Facebook. To learn more about Sunrise, please visit


Sunrise Senior Living
Jennifer Clark
Corporate Communications

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