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Is one of your goals for the new year to prioritize your health? How about minimizing everyday stress? As we age, it’s normal for our wants and needs to evolve. No matter what you’d like to achieve or envision for yourself, we highly recommend putting a plan in place for the future.

For older adults and their family members, a senior living community is often part of that plan. At our community in Cutler Bay, FL, we provide a helpful and comforting solution to those who seek an active retirement lifestyle and different levels of care, all in one place. 

If you’re beginning to explore senior living options and health care services for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to first understand the differences between independent living and assisted living.

Learn everything you need to know about these two lifestyles, their distinctions and benefits, and which one makes the most sense for you and your family. 

What is independent living?

Independent living communities are for older adults with active lifestyles and who want to spend less time worrying about the everyday tasks that come with homeownership and more time pursuing their interests. These adults don’t need regular care, safety supervision, or assistance with basic daily tasks.

Independent living in Cutler Bay provides choices, security for the future, and an engaging lifestyle. Here, independent living residents enjoy days filled with social events, enriching activities, wellness programs, and the ability to make new friends with neighbors who share similar interests.

Residents decide how they live each day, knowing they don’t have to worry about household chores, home maintenance or upkeep. Instead, they benefit from:

  • Chef-prepared meals served in multiple dining venues
  • State-of-the-art fitness center and wellness programs
  • Heated outdoor pool
  • Library and resource center
  • Creative arts studio and crafts room
  • Beauty salon and barbershop
  • Housekeeping and linen services
  • Scheduled transportation
  • 24-hour security
  • Emergency response with pendant

All these convenient services and amenities are included in your monthly fee, along with the choice of our one- or two-bedroom bungalow-style residences or spacious Garden Homes, which are available in sizes up to three bedrooms. Your new place comes equipped with:

  • In-unit washer and dryer
  • Walk-in closets
  • Screened-in porch
  • Full kitchen
  • Vibrant colors of Key West

With so much more “me time” and social opportunities, it’ll feel easier to leave behind past stresses and look ahead to a fulfilling future. At East Ridge, one of the highlights of moving to our independent living community is that if your health needs ever change, your transition to assisted living will be smooth, and every senior care service will be personalized to your new normal. 

What is assisted living?

Assisted living in Cutler Bay provides residents with personalized care administered by highly trained staff members, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs). Our specialized, homey assisted living neighborhood is called Palm Court – and it’s right on our community’s campus. 

One major differentiator about our assisted living community is that it’s open to the public. No entrance fee is required, and direct admittance is fine – there is no need to transition from independent living. It’s also important to note that residents in assisted living continue to benefit from services and amenities offered to independent living residents, along with assisted living-specific services, such as:

  • Nutritious meals in private dining rooms
  • Housekeeping and linen laundry
  • Mix of wellness activities for mind, body and spirit
  • Scheduled transportation to/from doctor appointments and local businesses

Seniors and their family members often ask us what the difference is between independent living and assisted living. The simplest answer is that independent living residents do not require health care supervision or assistance with ADLs, while assisted living residents do.

ADLs are common, daily activities in one’s personal routine, such as:

  • Bathing 
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Oral hygiene
  • Mobility
  • Medication management/administration

Just because you or a loved one needs additional care doesn’t mean each day can’t be lived to the fullest. At East Ridge, residents feel secure knowing that when they need support or medical care, a friendly face will always be there to help them. And if you, your spouse, or your parents ever display signs of memory loss, they’ll be able to transition to our memory support neighborhood seamlessly.

Three major differences between independent living and assisted living

We encourage residents in both independent living and assisted living to live as freely as possible; however, it’s expected that those in assisted living have certain limitations.

The following three categories help distinguish the differences between independent living and assisted living:

  1. Health care.
    In assisted living, residents at East Ridge reside in a specialized neighborhood with medical supervision; assistance with ADLs; and access to memory support, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. None of this is provided to those in independent living.
  2. Family involvement.

In assisted living, we communicate regularly with residents’ family members and loved ones to determine the best care plan. Residents’ at-home support systems play a more integral role in the everyday care and supervision of the resident. In independent living, residents are welcome to invite guests over at their leisure.

  1. Program offerings.

Independent living residents can participate in all programs and activities and feel safe doing so without supervision. While assisted living residents also have access to active lifestyle programs, these programs generally focus more on maintaining physical and cognitive abilities, accompanied by professional supervision.

Which lifestyle is best for your loved one?

If you’re starting to notice any of the following physical or behavioral changes in yourself or a loved one, we recommend seeking an assisted living community like East Ridge, with a staff dedicated to providing the highest level of care:

  • Trouble getting out of a chair/sofa or bed
  • Difficulty bathing or using the restroom
  • Low energy
  • Loss of balance
  • Lack of hygiene
  • General forgetfulness

On the other hand, if you or a loved one is active and in seemingly good health and craves a worry-free lifestyle, independent living is the more appropriate choice.

Find your ideal senior living lifestyle at East Ridge at Cutler Bay.

Our senior living community is the place to be for active seniors, along with those who need extra assistance. We offer a vibrant independent living lifestyle and dedicated assisted living services that bring peace and comfort to residents and their families. Each day is met with exceptional care and convenient amenities and programs to make worry-free living possible. Learn more about how you or a loved one can thrive here, today.