For Nicole Pruss, R, BSN, RAC-CT, and Emily Grohnke, RN, DON, serving seniors is a calling. Nicole, the Director of Nursing at Sunset House, and Emily, the Director of Nursing at Sunset Village, have a combined 40 years of experience in nursing, the majority of which has been spent serving seniors.
“I’ve always been in long-term care or assisted living,” said Nicole, who is currently in her 19th year of service at Sunset Communities. “Even in nursing school, I was drawn toward seniors.”
Emily, on the other hand, started part-time at Sunset Village, after having worked as a transplant nurse.
“When I had experiences that were making an impact, and working in the Eden culture, that was when I realized I never wanted to leave,” she said of her 13-year career with Sunset Communities.
For Emily, serving seniors has become a family experience. Her two children, aged 11 and 12, visit and volunteer so regularly that residents save special projects for them.
“I’m so proud of how I’ve been able to mesh my two worlds,” said Emily. “I’m proud of the person I’ve become because Sunset House has made me better.”
For Nicole, the best part of her work is to know that she has the power to make a difference every day. “Sometimes it’s just putting a smile on someone’s face. It’s the little things that you wouldn’t think twice about. Taking the time to really talk to someone can make his or her day,” she said.
On The Eden Alternative
Both Nicole and Emily are strong advocates for the Eden Alternative philosophy that shapes all decisions at both Sunset House and Sunset Village.
“This feels like home,” says Nicole. “Everyone treats residents like they’re family. It’s their parent they’re taking care of. Staff members really get to know the residents—what they like, what they don’t like. Those preferences are then incorporated into plans of care. For residents with dementia, it can soothe them and help calm them down when you can pull on things you know they like.”
“In our Eden Alternative philosophy, I don’t make a decision without going back to the residents,” said Emily. “We think about how each decision – food, activities, care planning – will effect the residents.”
Both Emily and Nicole encourage prospective residents and their families to come tour Sunset House or Sunset Village.
“Until you’re really here, I don’t know that our culture and the feeling you get when you walk in the door can be explained,” said Emily. “You have to experience it for yourself.”
“Talk to our residents and staff,” said Nicole. “Get the first hand experience. Talk to everyone. From housekeeping to activities, everyone plays a part in caring for your loved one.”
For more information on assisted living at Sunset House, click here to request a tour, or call 419-536-4645. For more information on Sunset Village, click here to schedule a visit, or call 419-724-1200.