We want to continue to highlight the work of our amazing adult foster care home providers in Oregon.
Matt Gannon spent some time talking with provider Catherine Hingson with Sunset Senior Living Center in Depoe Bay. Please read below to learn more about Catherine.
How long have you worked in the adult care home business?
I began Sunset Senior Living Center at the Oregon Coast in 2016 when my mother had a stroke. I decided to create an environment that my own mother would be content with, where her needs would be fully met. I became licensed in 2017, and we are a class 3 home. Now I have capacity for four residents, and I have two full-time employees and one part-time employee. I live in the home with the residents.
Potentially someday, 25 years from now, I may end up a resident myself of Sunset Senior Living Center. I decided to create an environment I would want to live in because I plan to live the rest of my life in the care home. We have property with three lots, and the house sits in the middle. I am going to be expanding the home to make it even larger so it is all one level, and I plan to create a rehabilitation exercise bonus room.
What do you love most about the work you do?
The thing I love most about this type of work is helping families. When a loved one can no longer be independent and circumstances reach a point where it is more than a family can manage, especially in today's world where they may be raising and homeschooling kids, we can be the option and take in a resident. Our family then grows, and I enjoy serving in that way.
I also appreciate being able to give my team employment and help them grow in their lives. I like serving the community as a person staff can turn to, and as an option for people looking for care, other than a larger facility.
The thing I love most about this type of work is helping families.
What do you believe makes someone’s work successful?
To me, it is all about the whole team. I approach the business as a team experience. I have great employees and I partner with community professionals who benefit the business. We have different professionals who meet the needs of our residents by coming to our home and being involved. For example, we have technology support individuals, a bookkeeper, maintenance workers, a counselor for residents, volunteers, and others who are an extended part of the team.
On more than one occasion, former residents' sons and daughters have been so impressed with the mission and quality of care at Sunset Senior Living Center, they actually come back to volunteer and support our efforts long after their parent has passed.
We operate with each resident's desires in mind. Residents will take part in writing their care plan so there is a lot of individualized care. My team and community partners cover so much of the care aspects of the residents with a teamwork approach; that way families can enjoy visiting and being with their loved ones and not worry about all the other stuff. This becomes streamlined through teamwork.
Sunset Senior Living Center is a "welcoming home" to all people, meaning we do not discriminate and we provide quality care to all of our residents.
I pay special attention to gardening. We have a large, organic garden with 14 garden boxes. We grow much of our own fresh produce and pay special attention to nutrition. Gardening is an ongoing, meaningful activity to the extent each resident can participate. Some residents like to get their fingers dirty, while others just like to watch. The garden boxes are all planted and the radishes are the first crop harvested this week. We have a lot of homemade meals and use what we've gardened, which makes it extra special.
We have a lot of homemade meals and use what we've gardened, which makes it extra special.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
One thing that sets us apart is how our ratio of caregivers to residents is usually two caregivers to three residents, most of the time. Sunset Senior Living Center has one, new full-time employee, Christopher, rounding out the team and joining caregiver Dee, house manager Dena, and owner-operator Catherine Hingson. The response time when our residents call on us is always less than five minutes, and we take all necessary measures to ensure a secure home.
I have a wonderful mobility van for transporting our residents and for outings. The van gives us the freedom to plan and go do whatever we want. It also serves emergency and evacuation purposes. In an emergency situation, all of our residents have an emergency backpack ready to go, which covers up to 72 hours of supplies. We also have a storage unit within walking distance of our home with food and emergency supplies for up to a year.
With all the nice weather, our residents have been going out for walks in the neighborhood and recently saw a pod of whales here in Depoe Bay!
Sunset Senior Living will have one resident opening coming soon this summer. Please visit Sunset Senior Living Center online at SunsetSeniorLiving.com, or visit their Facebook page.
*Photos used with written permission of the residents and staff.
About the Author
Matt Gannon is a consultant & provider services coordinator with Oregon Care Home Consulting & Training.