Sunset Stories

Why Employee Wellness is a Priority at Sunset

Posted by Gayle Young on Aug 27, 2018 4:04:43 PM

We like to say that Sunset Communities is more than a great place to live—it’s also a wonderful place to work. Our Employee Wellness Program is just one reason why.According to Erin Hensel, Wellness Coordinator at Sunset Communities, encouraging employees to pursue healthful lifestyles has a direct impact on our residents.

“When employees learn to take better care of themselves, they in turn take better care of our Elders,” explains Erin.

Sunset’s Employee Wellness Program—or SunFit as it’s sometimes called—began nearly ten years ago. The program involves a holistic, whole-person approach, addressing mental and social wellbeing along with physical health.

The program features numerous group exercise activities, from yoga and Zumba classes to organized walks around the Sunset House and Sunset Village grounds. Employees are also encouraged to take part in community activities, such as various 5K races sponsored by Metroparks Toledo, the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the Glass City Marathon, and other free or low-cost physical challenges.

There are also initiatives aimed at improving employee diets and eating habits. During a recent 12-week Weight Watchers at Work program, fifteen employees lost a combined 117 pounds. And Erin regularly shares nutrition tips with employees, along with information on where to find the best deals on fresh fruit and vegetables.

As incentive to participate in the program, participants earn wellness points that are redeemable for gift cards and other prizes. And when Sunset meets goals set by our healthcare provider, our employees get rewarded financially with discounts on their insurance.

Taking the program’s pulse

Annual on-campus wellness screenings help gauge participants’ overall health, while tracking the program’s strengths and weaknesses. Ninety-six individuals took part in our screening event this spring. In addition to gathering biometric data such as weight, blood pressure, and heart rate from participants, the screenings also assess factors such as job and life satisfaction, financial stress, and emotional impact from any recent losses.

“Our latest screenings reveal that Sunset employees are doing great in the areas of smoke-free living, moderate alcohol use, job satisfaction, and finding work and life meaning,” says Erin. “As a group, some opportunities for improvement include being more physically active and weight conscious, and showing more concern for the environment.”

Employee Assistance Program

As part of its wellness initiatives, Sunset provides employees and their families free access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The voluntary program offers confidential assessments, counseling, and outside referrals to employees who are experiencing personal or work-related problems.

To make certain everyone is fully aware about the EAP benefit, Erin regularly walks around Sunset facilities reminding employees about the service. She also promotes a mental health topic of the month and passes out reference materials explaining where and how to find help.

“Sunset employees are dedicated to our residents’ health and wellbeing,” says Erin. “The wellness program is our way of reminding them that their own health and wellbeing is important, too.”

Part of our overall benefits package

An onsite Wellness Coordinator is just one in a broad range of benefits Sunset provides our employees. We offer health, life, and disability insurance, flexible work schedules, a retirement savings plan, generous paid-time-off allowances, and more.

If you’re considering a job change, click here to learn more about working at Sunset.

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Topics: Facility News, People, Why Sunset?, Working at Sunset