Sunrise Stories: Our Founders' Message

Sunrise Senior Living  |  December 5, 2011

A message from Sunrise Senior Living's founders, Paul & Terry Klaassen, on our 30th anniversary.

Dear Sunrise Families & Friends,

We are delighted and humbled to note that on December 5, 2011, Sunrise Senior Living celebrates its 30th Anniversary.  We know there are not many companies that get to achieve such a milestone and we are grateful that Sunrise's model of resident-centered care has proven to have lasting value.

Our journey began in Northern Virginia where we opened our first Sunrise community with the aim to introduce a new model of long term care.  We wanted to change the physical environment and the way the services were provided in that environment.  That first Sunrise became our home too, as we moved in ourselves.  We spent that first year living and breathing the residents' needs – an experience so powerful that it continues to fuel our passion today.  Those early experiences led to the creation of Sunrise's Principles of Service, which have guided us ever since:

  • Preserving Dignity
  • Nurturing the Spirit
  • Celebrating Individuality
  • Enabling Freedom of Choice
  • Encouraging Independence
  • Involving Family and Friends

We are fortunate to have attracted thousands of dedicated caregivers to the Sunrise team who live out these Principles every day, making a huge positive difference in the lives of our residents and families.

For three decades now, we have pioneered innovative approaches to senior care.  From our award-winning architecture and design to our resident-centered programs –we continue to evolve.  And, just as our Principles of Service came from our own experiences living in that first Sunrise, so too do many of our new initiatives originate from the creativity of our team members and the feedback we receive from the families and residents we serve.

We are proud of the reputation for excellence and innovation that we have earned over these many years; but, we know that the best senior living has yet to be created.  We look forward to meeting this challenge and serving you in the years to come.


Paul & Terry Klaassen