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When Tom Grape, founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark, a senior living service provider in the Northeast, was given the task of appointing the executive director position at the new Fairfield branch, he could think of no one better than Terry Hornikel. Hornikel, who has forty years of experience in the field of health-care management for seniors, is now leading the flagship Sturges Ridge in town. The ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 27 marked the beginning of a hopeful chapter in the Fairfield community, introducing sixty-eight housing units for seniors, twenty of which serve dementia patients.
A Fairfield resident, Hornikel got her start as a nurse’s assistant in her native Ohio. Since then, she has served as executive director of Meridian Senior Living, Emeritus Senior Living and Kindred Healthcare, and has spoken for a number of aging-related platforms like Alzheimer’s and Medicare, to name a few.
Grape, who grew up in Fairfield, has also dedicated his life to senior care and jumped at the opportunity to open a Benchmark facility in his hometown. Its library is dedicated to Grape’s mother, Lee, who was well-known in town. “As we reflect back on our more than twenty years of experience, we know that what delights our customers most is not the beautiful buildings, great amenities and wonderful activities we offer in our communities,” he said. “but, rather, it’s when our residents and their families experience a real connection with our staff or with the passions in their lives. We’ve designed Sturges Ridge in a special way to singularly focus on providing those kinds of experiences that will set it apart from what people can find in any other senior living community in the Fairfield County area.”
Apart from housing and memory care, Sturges Ridge will also provide comprehensive retirement living packages and additional amenities that make Benchmark a residency and comfortable home. The Sturges Ridge community is heavily involved with the continuation of arts services in town, too, having recently sponsored the Sweet Sounds of Summer Concert Series this past summer. Residents of the facility will be in the thick of town spirit and even enjoy the “luxury box” views of Fairfield Ludlowe High School football games.
The new Benchmark in Sturges Ridge will partner with the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut, Fairfield American Little League, the Bigelow Senior Center, Al’s Angels and Operation Hope, allowing for volunteerism and funding opportunities in Fairfield.
See more at Sturges Ridge of Fairfield, Benchmark Senior Living, 448 Mill Plain Road, Fairfield; benchmarkseniorliving.com.