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Sunshine Pillars of Wellness

Growing the Six Sunshine Pillars of Wellness

A robust life enrichment program is vital to providing meaning in the daily lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or any dementia illness. Like tending vegetables in a garden, each of the six Sunshine Pillars of Wellness act to nurture and grow the solid foundation on which our collaborative person-centered care approach is built.

Based on the Sunshine Pillars of Wellness, the Memory Care Life Enrichment Program draws from a philosophy that is rooted in a Montessori-style approach. While the Montessori method was initially developed for early childhood education, the philosophy and approaches – modified to honor the age and experiences of our residents – provide sensory stimulation and encourage cognitive stimulation while building on existing social skills.

The important factor in Sunshine’s Wellness Garden is the collaboration of team members who understand the importance of communication and participation. The development of this approach begins in the earliest phases of our relationship with the resident and family, and it involves every level of the community’s team, from front desk staff and housekeeping to executive directors.

Physical Engagement:
Providing activities that promote residents’ physicality help to curb agitation, wandering, and sleeplessness.


For people with dementia, isolation often follows failure and embarrassment in social interactions. Activities offered in both large and small group settings that encourage “failure free” opportunities for socialization, building relationships, and community are an integral part of our wellness model.

Spiritual Support:
Recognizing and embracing the needs of each person’s spirituality through music, discussion, prayer, affirmations, nature, and other diverse means of support provides comfort and familiar purpose.

Intellectual Discovery:
Residents with dementia enjoy learning. Intellectual and educational activities based on interests that encourage the action of learning and participating in new things is important.

Sensory Stimulation Program:
Gentle touch, pleasant visual images, enjoyable sounds, yummy meals and snacks, and aromatherapy are used to encourage meaningful interactions. Purposefully designed areas with theme settings from a resident’s past can spark memories and interests, and can encourage independent or group interactions.

Emotional Expression:
Whether it is through dance, reminiscing and storytelling, or simply being, emotional expression flows throughout the day. We strive to create opportunities to engage peoples’ passions and connect with them on a deeper level.