CEO Message – Standing with Seniors

Tuesday, May 12 1:30 PM EST

Dear Sunrise Family:

I am personally reaching out to you with an important request that has the potential to positively impact not just you or your loved one, but seniors and care providers in senior living communities throughout this country.

We recognize that these past several weeks have been trying for all, both personally and professionally. In the age of social distancing, we have learned to adapt the ways in which we connect with one another, while working together to flatten the curve and help keep everyone healthy and safe. Our dedicated team members have always been the backbone of Sunrise. That is particularly true now as they continue rising to the occasion by providing our residents with a new sense of community, in tandem with meeting expanded infection control precautions and delivering high-quality care.

Yet despite all of our efforts, senior living communities have faced ongoing challenges as we must fight to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and receive support for testing, both critically important to combat this virus. Furthermore, with no signs of the virus relenting, we are incurring increased and significant costs to provide PPE on a daily basis to our team members and residents, in-room disposable dining solutions, and regular sanitization and deep cleaning efforts. We have significantly restricted visitors to those who are medically necessary to ensure we are limiting all who have access to our buildings.

It is clear we have made significant investments to help protect the safety and well-being of our residents and team members. But when it comes to federal funding to support this critical work, unlike the airlines, hospitality, and other industries, assisted living has been left out of the conversation. And, the incredible efforts of our heroes, the team members on the front line serving our seniors, are going unnoticed.

This cannot continue, and that’s why we are asking you to join us in a collective effort to send thousands of letters to Congress sharing how senior living communities are coping with the virus, and urging lawmakers to prioritize our communities for protective equipment and tests, along with the financial resources we need to continue providing high-quality care. It’s imperative that they hear directly from you, as they consider how best to allocate these resources.

Our senior residents are family, not merely numbers on a page. Our team of serving hearts is fiercely working to care for residents during this unprecedented time – they are heroes who need and deserve help in the form of support from our federal government.

Writing your Congressman or Congresswoman takes less than a minute. Here’s how to take action:

1. Click on the appropriate link:
2. You’ll find a pre-written message where you can add a personal note on how your daily life has
changed as a result of COVID-19.

3. Enter your contact information and click “send message.” Your message will be sent directly to your
member of Congress and both of your senators based on the address you enter.

I encourage you to share this letter with family and friends who are also passionate about senior living and Sunrise’s mission to champion quality of life for all seniors. The more voices raised on this issue, the more likely we are to be heard. Congress has already provided support to chain restaurants, international airlines and even large department stores; it is time they include our beloved seniors and team members in their Federal assistance plan.

On behalf of all of us at Sunrise, I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we work together during this difficult time.

Chris Winkle, Chief Executive Officer
Sunrise Senior Living