Life at Otterbein Sunset House
Otterbein Sunset House is a perfectly unique blend of historic charm and innovative community life. The moment you walk through our doors, you’re greeted by beautiful and comfortable surroundings, warm and friendly people, and a wide variety of opportunities to pursue your favorite hobbies – or discover new ones.
Daily life at Sunset House integrates cultural and social outings and events that keep you connected to the world around you – and engaged in what matters to you most.
Meet new friends in the Hearth Room for intimate conversations. Appreciate nature’s beauty while strolling the walking path along the pond. Or catch up on your reading in front of the fireplace with a favorite beverage by your side.
Explore life at Otterbein Sunset House
A Home for Friendless Women
With the founding of the YWCA in 1870, which was only a few years after the end of the Civil War, the first president took into her home one lady and sent two to a boarding house…the three having “sorrowful stories.” Because of the need, a “Home for Friendless Women was started in 1871 with five rented rooms on Locust Street, a matron, one ill lady, and a borrowed $357.75.” This was the beginning of Sunset Retirement Communities.
A parlor and professional entertainment, and ultimately a fancy dress ball at the Wheeler Opera House, provided funding for the Home. The ball became one of the big social events for the next 13 years but finally gave way to an annual fund drive. The Community Chest eventually provided funds until this was no longer necessary.
Two years later, the home was officially incorporated and the Bissell Home on Woodruff Avenue was purchased.
World War I Years
During the war, the home continued to serve women in the Toledo area (men and couples would not live in the home until 2001). The residents stayed involved in knitting, riding in patriotic parades, and sewing for needy children in countries affected by the war.
Sunset House Moves to its Current Location
By 1928, the time had come to consider a new building. Ten acres of land on Indian Road were purchased. Through the generous response to the fundraising campaign, the present home (far out in the country at that time) was built and first occupied in 1930.
Nursing Annex Added
After consultation with gerontology experts from the University of Michigan, a new nursing annex with 24 beds was added – what would become Sunset Court.
Modern Updates for Sunset House
Renovation of the present Manor building began in late spring of 1986 followed by the same for the nursing annex (Sunset Court), which became a new assisted living unit. The residents were moved from the Manor building into the new 48-bed nursing center while the Manor building was renovated.
Much care and thought went into the planning of the move that went so smoothly. And in early 1987 residents settled back into their newly renovated rooms and enjoyed the luxury of having their own private bathrooms for the first time.
Sunset Village and The Woodlands
The board decided to move forward with a project that included securing land for a second campus – what is now Otterbein Sunset Village – and adding independent housing on the current campus – what we know today as The Woodlands. Renovations to the current campus would occur after construction was completed.
In addition, it was decided to admit men and couples into the Sunset community at the completion of the building program. Land was optioned in 1999 and Board, staff, and consultants began the process of securing financing and local and state approvals for our project. A new corporate entity was established and named Sunset Retirement Communities. The ground was broken in mid-2000 for both projects.
Sunset Village officially opened on December 31, 2001, when the first two residents moved in. Licensing followed in January of 2002 and 27 residents from Sunset Hall, the nursing area of Sunset House, moved west to their new home.
The Woodlands, Sunset House’s independent living community, officially opened on January 2, 2002.
Eden Alternative Association
In 2005, Sunset Village became an Eden registered home, and in 2007, Sunset House became an Eden registered home. The Eden Alternative® philosophy views aging with a positive mindset and encourages growth, learning, well-being, and collaboration among residents and staff.
Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care
Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care became licensed and began caring for clients. The program was accredited by the Joint Commission in 2010 and is both Medicare and Medicaid certified.
Affiliation with Otterbein SeniorLife
Sunset House and Sunset Village become affiliated with Otterbein SeniorLife, with updated names to match:
- Sunset House became Otterbein Sunset House
- The Woodlands became The Woodlands at Otterbein Sunset House
- Ashanti Hospice became Otterbein Ashanti Hospice
- Sunset Village became Otterbein Sunset Village
- Fieldstone Villas became The Fieldstone Villas at Otterbein Sunset Village
In making the announcement, Jill Wilson, president and CEO of Otterbein SeniorLife, said, “We are very pleased to join forces with Sunset Retirement Communities. Their 149-year track record of enriching individual life journeys, combined with Otterbein’s 108 years of enhancing the quality of life and holistic growth of older persons, will strengthen our organization and open up all kinds of strategic opportunities to carry out our mission.”
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