While home is the most comfortable place to be, there are times when home is not safe. We were faced with accepting this fact over the past year with a close friend who was living alone and becoming more forgetful. After visiting more than 10 facilities, we chose Sunnymere in Aurora, IL. Located on a hill overlooking Phillips Park Golf Course, Sunnymere provides an affordable, well-maintained environment with most of the comforts of home. With nursing staff on site daily, residents select either independent or assisted living to meet their health care needs. Each resident has a private room decorated with furniture from their home, with meals served in a dining room. Food is prepared on site by a chef! Employing and training local high school students exposes the residents to caring, energetic youth to engage in conversation. There are daily activities available including an exercise session, games, and non-denominational devotions. Residents are encouraged to leave the premise to remain engaged with family and friends, or just to take a walk.
Two months after moving our friend to Sunnymere, I moved my mother there. She became known to all the staff and residents, and felt comforted to be in such a warm environment with caring people. Sunnymere is a great option to reduce anxiety associated with loneliness, lack of access to food due to weather or the need for someone just being around. Sunnymere is an often overlooked gem in Aurora, and is a home away from home. We have already made plans on moving to Sunnymere!
Dr. Diane Homan, daughter and friend of previous residents
Where to begin? Just a thank you does not suffice. How can I make you understand the appreciation I feel for Sunnymere?
My mother, Gladys Mason, joined you on a Saturday afternoon in May, not the best time for a new admission. Thank you to Rhonda, the Executive Director, for the extra hours you spent waiting for her arrival from The Tillers. She gave everyone the silent treatment, but it was me she was angry with, not you. A totally independent woman for nearly all of her 106 years does not surrender that independence easily.
Larry and the kitchen/dining room staff are the best! Good food and caring people make those three meals a day, plus snacks, something for the residents to look forward to.
The staff treat people, even angry people, with patience and much kindness. Every one of the staff is special in their own way. Renae, Bridget, Amanda, Sharon, Mona, and Mary noticed when she needed supplies and got them for her.
As time passed, my mother accepted the fact that she could not go home alone again. Having her own furniture was a huge comfort and more than once, in the end, I think she thought she was home again.
Truly, Sunnymere is a home and not an institution. It is a very special place, a credit to Aurora. Each of the staff is a credit to Sunnymere. I pray you never think of it as only a JOB, because you have a vocation to be so very proud of. You help people in need. You care.
You will remain in my thoughts and prayers. I am so blessed to have found you. My mother was so blessed to have had you in her life. God bless each of you.
Betty Reicher, daughter of former resident
I am so glad we found Sunnymere and were able to move my Dad in. Sunnymere does the ‘dirty work’ of making sure he is ok and cared for, and I can come in to visit or take him out for lunch, and just enjoy ‘being with Dad.’ I don’t have to worry or wonder what is happening with him. I can be a daughter, not always a caregiver.
Lynn Schuett, daughter of current resident
“This place is the next thing to heaven.”
Ray Huddleston, current resident at Sunnymere
Once the decision was made to bring my dad from Missouri to Illinois I looked at many different assisted living facilities around the area. While they all had many benefits to offer I immediately felt at home with Sunnymere and just knew this was the place for him.
He has now been here for 6 1/2 months and I couldn’t imagine a better place. Nearly every day he comments on how well he is taken care of and how comfortable he is with the friendly feeling.
I would also like to offer my thanks to Rhonda for making me feel comfortable and confident in the quality of care provided for my dad. Every time I have stopped and asked for a little of her time she has been willing to drop everything and give me all the time I needed. What a wonderful way to run a business.
Dan Huddleston, son of Ray Huddleston
My mom has been at Sunnymere for almost two and a half years. It was a difficult decision and one that had been a long time coming, as I’m certain many of you know all too well. I’m not sure if we were hoping for a miracle or just plain ignoring the problems that my mom was facing, but were finally forced into finding a suitable place for our mom who had dementia. Our dad had been in a nursing home years before and we knew that this was not the place that we wanted to return to. We visited several places with nothing impressive standing out to make us feel positive. An acquaintance had heard me talking and suggested Sunnymere to me. I called immediately and they answered all my questions with an invitation to visit the facility.
I know that my mom is very comfortable at Sunnymere.
Family of resident Joyce Gumm
I had never heard of Sunnymere, but my son-in-law went on line and found it. My daughter and I came for a tour and everyone was very nice and the place was very clean. The staff was friendly and welcoming and it seemed more like a home. You can make friends and have things to do. The food is very good, too. If you are ever not feeling well, the staff provides wonderful care and are very helpful and take good care of you. I like living here.
Theresa Pevitts, current resident
My family is profoundly grateful for the welcoming, warm, and safe atmosphere at Sunnymere which has made a very difficult transition a tremendously less painful process for our mother. The intentionally personal and deliberately professional demeanor of each level of staff has made my mother feel overwhelmingly welcomed, safe and at home. As a matter of fact she describes her experience as being in college and her living quarters as her dorm. Sunnymere has become a place that our mother loves.
Keith G. Knazze Sr., son of current resident
When my Grandma wanted to move out of her house, it was a big scary decision where; where would she go? What would she want to do? We researched a lot of places and then out of nowhere we found Sunnymere. It was exactly what we were looking for. Her room is perfect; not too big, not too little. The staff here are wonderful. Everyone is friendly and helpful. There is something for my Grandma to do everyday, whether it be Bingo or getting her hair done or just sitting on the couch with the other residents. She has something everyday. I am so glad we found Sunnymere. They are perfect!
Stephanie Rossaert, granddaughter of current resident
We were nervous about Mom moving to Illinois after a lifetime in Iowa. We loved the homey feel of Sunnymere and how kind the staff was. The residents were so friendly as we set up her room so she could walk into her new home all set up. It could not have been a smoother transition. When we encountered trouble transferring her prescriptions, Rhonda and Renae came to the rescue. Mom is by people who truly care for her and us. We look forward to a long and happy relationship with Sunnymere.
Troy and Meridith Bossler, son and daughter-in-law of current resident
When our mom could no longer live on her own we looked at numerous assisted living facilities. After a lot of research we made the decision to have her move into Sunnymere. It was important to find a place that she could call home and the staff would not just be doing a job but were caring and kind to her. We have found this to be the case at Sunnymere and the more we have gotten to know them the more we felt we made an excellent decision. Ruth Imsinger, the executive director models the love and respect towards the tenants which filters down through the staff. Larry the cook does a wonderful job and our mom loves the food. Mom really enjoys the games and sitting outside enjoying the beautiful setting. We would highly recommend Sunnymere because of its loving and caring atmosphere.
Dave Lewis, son of current resident