Vicky’s passion for working with seniors is clear in every conversation about her work and passions. Her first experience in the senior living field began in 1976, as she worked to finish her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Vicky found a part time job in a nonprofit nursing home, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I just fell in love with working with seniors,” she explained. “Unlike the hospital, where people come and go and you don’t get to know them, in senior living, you find out about the seniors, the families, and really get to build relationships.”
After getting married, Vicky and her husband moved to the Toledo area, where she didn’t even consider looking for a job in a hospital setting. That’s when she found Sunset Communities in 1985.
Though she is now the President and CEO, Vicky’s work at Sunset Communities began as a consultant.
“They were getting ready to get their certification for Medicaid and needed some help to get ready for the survey,” she said. “I started with that, and then they asked me to join the staff as the Director of Quality Assurance.”
Her passion for seniors and focus on quality has helped lead Sunset Communities to become the unique place it is – one that is known for attracting second generation residents. These “second generation” residents are those who saw the excellent care provided to their loved one at Sunset Communities, and then made the choice to call Sunset Communities their home, too.
After 41 years in the field, what makes Sunset Communities unique in Vicky’s eyes?
One aspect that immediately comes to mind for Vicky is the close relationships between staff and residents. “We’ve asked our employees in the past: ‘Why do you stay?’” said Vicky. “And so many of them that have been here a long time always say, ‘the residents.’”
“Truly, the staff look at the residents as part of their extended family,” explained Vicky.
Another aspect that sets Sunset Communities apart is the Eden Alternative.
“We believe in and practice person-centered care,” Vicky said.
“I always tell employees that we work in the residents’ home, they don’t live where we work,” Vicky further explained. “We need to honor their wishes. We aren’t going to get someone up at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning because they have to get dressed for breakfast. If you want to sleep until 7, 8, 9, or 10 o’clock, whenever you wake up and want breakfast, we’ll get it for you.”
With her long history of, and passion for championing and caring for seniors, it’s no wonder Vicky went from consultant to President and CEO of Sunset Communities.
If you’re considering Sunset Communities as your next home, Vicky invites you to come visit. “We have a wonderful history and wonderful staff. We have a lot to offer!” she exclaimed.
For more information on independent living, please contact Fieldstone Villas at 419-386-2686 or The Woodlands at 419-724-1220. For more information on assisted living, please contact Sunset Village at 419-724-1220 or Sunset House at 419-536-4645.