Walking through the front door of the Burgoon-style design at Fieldstone Villas for the very first time, you’re bound to experience an immediate sense of coming home. The most popular layout among Fieldstone’s newest construction phase, the Burgoon features a covered front porch that leads into an inviting entryway. Laminate floors spill into an open dining room that’s flanked by a modern kitchen on one side and a cozy living room on the other. It’s clear that great care went into designing this space.
Sunset House and Sunset Village have each received 5-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS gives longterm care facilities from one to 5 stars related to health inspection results, staffing, and quality of resident care measures, along with an overall rating.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” —Eighteenth-century poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rose Atkins has always found von Goethe’s famous quote inspiring. The message—more recently attributed to film actor Bruce Lee—motivates Rose to go above and beyond in serving Sunset Village’s residents and their families. Her much-more-than-enough efforts have earned Rose the Sunset Village 2018 Nurse of the Year award.
Whenever her life gets challenging, Janet Sulewski takes a deep breath and tells herself, “It’s all good!” The pop-culture phrase reminds Janet of her overall good fortune and empowers her to move past any current problems.
Most senior care facilities set and follow strict itineraries, with prescribed regimens for everything from bedtime to mealtimes. But Sunset Communities subscribes to The Eden Alternative, an approach that actually encourages residents to make their own choices about their daily lives.
Rachael Operacz’s official title at Sunset Village is Admissions Counselor. But for new and potential Sunset residents, her role is that of an educator, a sounding board, and a move-in coordinator.
“When people visit Sunset Village, we’re often their first stop as they begin to learn about living options,” explains Rachael. “Listening to their struggles and offering empathy tends to help lessen their anxiety.”
The most common question rehabilitation patients ask Isaiah Rupp is whether their physical or occupational therapy is actually going to work.
“I tell them therapy will indeed work, as long as they participate in the process.”
Isaiah is part of an eight-person team that provides in-patient and outpatient rehab services at Sunset Village. Programs range from neurological therapy for clients recovering from strokes to physical therapy for those with joint and mobility issues. An important part of the team’s role is educating patients about how rehab aids in their recoveries.
“Many people don’t immediately understand the goal of rehab,” explains Isaiah. “While we don’t treat the conditions that caused a stroke, for instance, we do help patients regain functional ability following the event.”
In keeping with Sunset’s person-centered approach to rehab, Isaiah and his team work to understand their patients’ individual goals. Then, by tailoring programs to each person’s desired outcomes, they help motivate patients to apply the effort required for therapy to succeed.
As many people know, animals are capable of incredible things. Whether they are saving lives as integral members of a police force, guiding the visually impaired through their daily routines, or showering those around them with unconditional affection, animals positively impact their human companions in ways that we often overlook.
So it should come as no surprise that there are many benefits to allowing care community residents to have pets reside with them. Clinical studies have shown that elders living in residential facilities with animals exhibit less stress than those who do not have a companion pet. Overall wellness is heightened for dog and cat owners, and their quality of life improves as a result.
Human contact with animals triggers an increase in serotonin production, causing a "feel-good" effect and making heart rate and stress levels drop. Lower blood pressure, increased physical activity, and reduced cholesterol have also been linked to pet ownership.
Kallie Inman, the Life Enrichment Assistant at Sunset Village, was trying to find new ways to engage the seniors who lived at Sunset Village, when she started a Veterans Group. Turns out, about 17.75% of residents at Sunset Village are military veterans, and Kallie wanted to create a space for them to meet, engage with each other, host discussions, remember, and celebrate.
When thinking about moving to The Woodlands or Fieldstone Villas, one factor to consider is the financial aspect. It’s important to do a cost-benefit analysis, comparing the costs and benefits of independent living at either one of these Sunset Communities’ to the costs and benefits of living in your current house.