Sunset raises a half-million dollars for state-of-the-art dementia care and facility expansion

JENISON, Mich. – August 21, 2019 – Sunset Legacy Foundation announced Monday it has raised a half-million dollars. The funding allowed Waterford Place Memory Care to remodel 40 studio-style homes, create two courtyards and continue to offer SAIDO Learning, a revolutionary cognitive program that has shown to improve resident performance, independence and optimism by reducing the symptoms of dementia. The announcement was made at the Praise the Lord Celebration and Open House from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Waterford Place Memory Care located at 1725 Port Sheldon St. in Jenison.

“We are grateful for the generous support we’ve received through the Waterford Place Capital Campaign,” said Ben Leavell, executive director, Waterford Place. “Dementia is one of the most urgent health crises our community faces. We are working hard every day to provide hope for people living with dementia and their families.”

The public phase of the Waterford Place Capital Campaign ran from June 1 through August 1, with a goal of raising $500,000. An anonymous donor matched donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000 during the public phase.

“The success of the Waterford Place Capital Campaign provides proof of God’s faithfulness. We are blessed to be stewards of His grace,” said Steve Zuiderveen, CEO, Sunset Retirement Communities & Services. “Thanks to many faithful donors, we will continue to change the lives of thousands of individuals living with dementia and their families, provide hope and reacquaint families.”

Leavell recalls how the program is restoring relationships.

“Recently, a daughter of one of our residents called me. I could hear her voice crack with emotion as she shared a recent visit with her mom,” said Leavell. “For the first time in years, her mom read Time magazine. For more than 20 minutes, she read out loud only stopping to laugh and celebrate the pure joy of reading again.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. By 2025, over 6,000 adults in Kent and Ottawa counties will need specialized care in a skilled nursing home or assisted living facility. There is currently only enough capacity to serve less than 500 people with dementia.

“The generosity of our donors has allowed us to continue to grow and improve our staff, homes, and programming—but we’re not finished yet,” said Dr. Dan Gowdy, vice president of development, Sunset Legacy Foundation. “We are still accepting gifts to support the delivery of revolutionary memory care.”

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To learn more about Waterford Place Memory Care visit,