Assisted living center provides diversity of care, says Rotary speaker

Photo by Jennie McGhan.
Sunnyside Sun Terrace Assisted Living Center Marketing Director Cheryl Larrick tells Noon Rotary Club members about the services provided to residents at the local facility.

The diversity of care provided by assisted living centers has changed over the years, according to Sun Terrace Marketing Director Cheryl Larrick.

She was the featured speaker at Monday’s Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club meeting.

Larrick said people once chose to live in an assisted living center for convenience. Upon retiring, individuals didn’t want to worry about maintenance and upkeep of a home and yard.

That’s still one of the reasons community members may choose to live in a center like Sun Terrace.

But, health concerns are another reason individuals choose assisted living over living in their own homes. One of the primary health concerns that lead to an individual living in an assisted living facility is dementia.

Larrick said Sun Terrace has highly qualified and certified staff who provide care for residents. Dementia has been on the rise and Larrick said it is important that individuals suffering from the disease move to an assisted living center “…sooner rather than later.”

This is because waiting too long can lead to confusion for the individual. Larrick said it is important the individual remember they moved so they can live at the center “…for the remainder of their days.”

If an individual doesn’t remember moving into the center, they can sometimes wander off, seeking loved ones and their home, according to Larrick. She said Sun Terrace is not a locked facility and those who tend to walk away are the individuals who need to be cared for in a locked facility.

“We think we want to keep our loved ones in their homes as long as possible,” said Larrick.

She is speaking from experience, having had a mother who suffered from dementia.

Larrick said her mother was an “exit seeker.” Her mother would seek the first exit possible in search of familiar people and surroundings.

Because of that, Larrick said, her mother was unable to reside at Sun Terrace until she could no longer walk.

“Sun Terrace is like a community,” said Larrick, stating the residents at Sun Terrace develop close bonds with one another. They enjoy a number of events and activities together. “They look out for one another,” she said.

Not everyone at Sun Terrace suffers from dementia, Larrick noted. She said there are a number of services available for different levels of independence and medical care. Hospice care is available for terminally ill residents, as well.

Larrick said assisted living is an alternative for some. “It’s about the quality of life,” she said.

‑ Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, or email JMcGhan@DailySunNews.com


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