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At East Ridge at Cutler Bay, a life plan community, it’s not unusual for adult children to start researching the community for their parents, while seniors who have friends who already have moved, may be contemplating relocating as well. Every family is different, but it’s often a decision that the entire family offers input.

“The holidays are a perfect time to discuss a parent’s future needs, and therefore, our marketing team is available throughout the holidays,” said Mary Scott Russell, the community’s director of marketing. “A move to a life plan community may offer peace of mind for the entire family.

The need for meaningful connections is an essential part of aging. Of Americans age 65 and older, 28 percent (11 million people) live alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The National Council on Aging also found that isolation can harm both mental and physical health. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults 52 and older.
“Our residents tell us they had found living in their previous home challenging. As their social circles became smaller, they no longer had friends within their neighborhood with whom to go movies, shopping or restaurants,” added Russell. “Also, some neighborhoods aren’t as safe as they were when their family was growing up. In case of an emergency, there simply isn’t the neighbor next door they can rely upon.”

She offers some tips to help with researching a senior living community:

• Take advantage of the internet, but be cautious of referral websites that offer to provide free assistance. Free really isn’t free. Referral companies are being compensated and are not transparent. They may not have your interests at heart.
• Create a list of potential communities to consider. If mom and dad know someone already living at the community, this may help narrow down the possibilities. They may be more in the know than you since many older adults visit communities for lectures and events.
• Make appointments for a visit and plan adequate time for tours, which take about an hour.
• There’s a great deal to absorb so it’s good to return for a second visit and stay for lunch or dinner, talk to other residents and truly get a feel for the experience.
• Encourage an overnight or weekend stay for your parents that communities like East Ridge offer. It’s like a stay-cation. They’ll have an opportunity to sample the lifestyle and get a sense of the community.
• Work with a sales person to understand the different types of life plan contracts offered by the community. East Ridge also offers rental options.
• It is important to strive to work collaboratively with siblings so all involved help parents with the decision and the move. Not everyone may be supportive, this is not unusual however, and a full understanding of the improvement to their loved one’s quality of life is often a deciding factor.
• The senior living community sales team is an excellent resource. Their expertise is in helping seniors decide to move to a community and they work with families every day. They can relate to all of the issues that may be challenging you and your parents and their purpose is to provide all the help they can. We know it’s not a quick decision and may take several visits and time to ponder.
About East Ridge at Cutler Bay

East Ridge at Cutler Bay is Miami’s only true life plan retirement community. The not-for-profit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay, one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the U.S. and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres, located at 19301 S.W. 87th Avenue. The community offers a continuum of care including independent residences and the innovative Three Palms Health Center with assisted living residence homes, memory support, respite, skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation services available under one roof. For more information or to schedule a personal tour, please call (305) 256-3564 or visit