The Sunrise Story
A Vision for Senior Living
Today, Paul and Terry remain trusted advisors, ensuring each community upholds Sunrise’s mission and allows residents to live a highly personalized lifestyle.
Inspiration from the Dutch
When Terry was 15, she and her father struggled to provide her terminally ill mother with home care rather than send her to a sterile, impersonal nursing home. Paul spent his childhood in the Netherlands, where elder care environments were warm and nurturing. Called “verzorgingstehuizen,” he watched his grandparents flourish as they aged. They enjoyed the independence and dignity of doing all the things they had done on their own—shopping, cooking, and personal hobbies—but had the security of assistance when they needed it.
Paul and Terry decided to introduce the Dutch concept of senior care to an American audience, finding inspiration from restaurants and fine inns, small European hotels, and single-family homes. When they opened the first Sunrise community near Fairfax, Virginia, Paul and Terry lived with the residents and created a welcoming, nurturing home where residents felt happy and fulfilled. It was in this home that the Sunrise model of care began. In 1987, the first Victorian mansion-style community opened, now a recognized symbol of Sunrise communities across the United States and Canada.