It was back in 1981 that the very first Sunrise opened its doors. Founded by Paul and Terry Klaassen, it was their vision to create a place that championed the quality of life for seniors in a homelike, person-centred setting.
At the age of just 15, Terry Klaassen and her father found it a struggle to provide her terminally ill mother with home care. At the time, the only alternative was an impersonal institution with cold corridors, hard floors and harsh lighting. Even at this early age, Terry understood how families play a vital role in long-term care decisions. She also understood how important it was - and still is - to incorporate dignity, trust and independence as key components of caregiving.
Paul grew up in the Netherlands, where his experience of care for the elderly was very different. In Holland, care settings - known as "verzorgingstehuizen” - were warm, welcoming and very homelike. Paul saw at first hand how his own grandparents and other residents enjoyed assisted living: the independence and dignity of doing all the things they had done unassisted throughout their lives, such as shopping, cooking or the laundry, but with the added reassurance of help on hand if they needed it.
Not surprisingly, Paul and Terry decided to set up a care home based on the Dutch principles that had served Paul’s grandparents so well.
Three decades on, this vision is still at the heart of more than 300 Sunrise care homes in the UK, USA and Canada.
Today, tens of thousands of people live in Sunrise care homes. In the UK alone, around 2,400 people call Sunrise their home.
Whether you’re looking for yourself or a loved one, you’re always welcome to find out more about the Sunrise difference at any of our 25 care homes in England and Wales. Come and take a look for yourself and discover an entirely new and positive approach to elder care and well-being.
Person-centred services, organised around the individual needs of each resident, include: