March 19, 2020

Sunset’s Message About COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Dear Residents, Family, and Friends,

Thanks to everyone in the Sunset Family for continued prayers and well wishes during this COVID-19 crisis. We are all doing quite well at this point and have taken advantage of every minute of time to prepare for what is still coming. Today, we continue to have no COVID-19 cases in any of our buildings, however, we are fully expecting that to come soon. Local experts are all agreeing; the situations in New York and Detroit will be happening here in the coming days or weeks. This is scary, but we are doing our part. We are collecting as much personal protective equipment (PPE) as we can and we are setting up areas to treat patients with COVID-19 while keeping other areas of the buildings safe. We are preparing our staff. We are praying.

There are a few things however that we do need your help with:

  1. If you live within a Sunset community, please stay inside your apartment. There are too many residents continuing to gather in common areas. This is especially bad if you are also leaving the building for any reason.
  2. If you are a family member, please encourage your loved one to stay inside their apartment. We know this is incredibly hard, but we cannot have you coming in to the building or picking up your loved ones for drives, visits to your house, or any other situation. These actions expose all of us inside the building to new germs. We will continue to follow our processes for laundry and groceries, but please do not overuse this. We have food, necessities, opportunities for healthy exercise, and life enrichment inside. We really need families to support us during this time.
  3. Friends of Sunset, continue to pray and provide encouragement through phone calls and do your part to stay home.

We are all experiencing the same loss and fear. Our staff are also not seeing their families, going to gatherings, or getting out as normal. We are all attempting to stay safe so we can care for the people here. We will continue to do our very best and provide updates via Facebook, One Call Now, and letters to residents.

Please take care,

Christina Matzke

Chief Operating Officer


March 19, 2020

Dear Residents, Family, and Friends of Sunset Senior Communities,

It’s been a week since our world’s started to shift. We are missing each other and getting used to social distancing, but overall we are doing well. COVID-19 is pushing all of us into unprecedented territory, but I hope everyone is being cautious without panicking. All of our staff have been working around the clock to ensure each of our campuses is up to date with the latest recommendations from local and national authorities. We are monitoring the CDC, the Kent and Ottawa Health Departments, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The good news is that Sunset Communities is very prepared for situations like this. We have long-standing systems for infection prevention, and those systems serve us well as we delve deeper into this outbreak. We also have the most amazing staff, plenty of resources, and above all, we know that at the end of the day, it’s the Lord who holds us all in His hands. I’d like to attempt to give you an overview of where we stand today. This information is somewhat general, and it’s important to note what we’re doing with you may vary from what your friends and family hear in other levels of care within the Sunset Community. We are currently making specific procedures that will vary by building, area of the building, clinical need, and recommendations from governing bodies. For this reason, it’s best to contact your building directly if you have questions on process.

One of our biggest challenges today is that recommendations are changing frequently, sometimes hour by hour. That means we all have to stay flexible and patient with each other. We also can expect that things are going to get worse before they get better. Soon, we will begin to know people who test positive for the virus and unfortunately, we may even hear of it in our buildings, no matter how hard we try. Please keep in mind, the reason all of the precautions are in place is not because we think it won’t enter our buildings (even though that would be ideal), but to best contain it if it does. Also be prepared to hear stories of false exposures, as that sometimes happens in the face of fear. Our commitment to you is to be open and honest at all times, so don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or concerns.

Each one of our campuses is practicing social distancing, screening for symptoms, and monitoring. We spend most of our days making sure we are prepared for the future (which we are), we practice different scenarios, and above all, we are trying to help our residents cope with having limited access to others. Fortunately, that part comes naturally as you can’t stop the dedication and love we have for each other.

Please continue to wash your hands and distance yourself socially. If you find yourself with extra time, please join me in praying for our world leaders, our residents, our neighbors, our families, and our staff. As the world shuts down, our staff wake up early, they make provisions for their families, and they come to work ready to serve others. They stay late, they come in on their days off, and they love what they do. In this time of uncertainty, we’re all doing our very best. Thank you for being our partners in looking out for one another. We’ll keep in touch regularly. Stay healthy and take care.


Christina Matzke

Chief Operating Officer


March 12, 2020

Dear Residents, Families, and Friends,

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and more communities are experiencing outbreaks, Sunset Senior Communities has decided to LIMIT visitors and vendors for essential services only, as well as restrict all volunteers to all campuses.

Per CMS guidelines, limiting is defined as not allowing non-essential individuals to come into the facility, except for certain scenarios, such as end-of-life situations or when a visitor is essential for a resident’s emotional well-being and care. We ask that you contact the facility your loved one resides at to speak with a staff member to determine the eligibility of your visit if you feel it is absolutely necessary.

This decision was not made lightly, as we are very aware of the importance and benefit of visits from family members and friends, but the most important factor is to maintain the health and safety of those we care for within the Sunset Senior Communities. The impact of this virus has proven to be severe amongst the elder population and those with co-morbid conditions (heart failure, chronic kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) and ultimately guided us to this decision.

Sunset Senior Communities will continue to communicate with any further updates as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Executive Director or Director of Clinical Services for the campus in which you or your loved one resides.

Thank you so much for your understanding and cooperation,

Christina Matzke

Chief Operating Officer

Sunset Senior Communities