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If you’ve been looking into senior living for yourself or a loved one, you’ve probably come across the phrase “continuum of care.” This is a common phrase in this industry, and it can be a little confusing as to what it means. Marco Gonzalez, Director of Marketing & Sales at East Ridge at Cutler Bay, Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community, offers insight into the continuum of care definition. He says that perhaps a better phrase is aging in place.

“While aging in place and continuum of care don’t quite describe the same thing, they stem from the same philosophy of helping seniors receive the care they need as they age without having to move locations,” he says. “The theory of a continuum of care enables seniors to stay in one place throughout their later years while still receiving the care they need – no matter how that may change in the future.”

Aging in place is something that most, if not all, seniors would like to have as they get older. Generally, people think about “aging in place” in their current home. For a long time, that was the default because seniors didn’t want to move into a “nursing home.” However, today’s senior living communities are a far cry from the facilities of yesteryear.

“The boomers have completely reinvented what being a senior means and what senior living looks like,” says Marco. “Today’s communities provide a continuum of care that’s unparalleled and designed specifically for the needs of aging adults. Residents can truly age in place, because communities like East Ridge at Cutler Bay have been constructed to provide independence for as long as possible.”

Here’s how that works – and why it’s important.

What Is a CCRC or Life Plan Community?

When you are looking at senior living communities, you may come across the terms Life Plan Community or CCRC, but aren’t sure about what they mean. A Life Plan Community, also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), provides a holistic solution to senior living, catering to the diverse needs of older adults through a variety of services and amenities. These communities offer a continuum of care, which means residents can smoothly transition between different levels of care as their needs change over time.

Whether they start with independent living, move to assisted living, or require higher levels of care such as skilled nursing or memory care, Life Plan Communities ensure that residents receive the support they need at every stage of their journey.

This flexibility provides peace of mind to residents and their families, knowing that they can access the appropriate level of care without the disruption of relocating to a different community.

What Are the Benefits of a Continuing Care Retirement Community/Life Plan Community?

One of the key advantages of CCRCs is allowing residents to transition seamlessly between higher levels of care as their needs evolve.

Residents pay an entrance fee and ongoing monthly fees in exchange for access to a variety of amenities and services, including health care services, home care, and a LifeCare contract.  A Type A LifeCare contract provides residents with financial security and peace of mind, as it guarantees access to long-term care services without significantly increasing costs.

Additionally, Life Plan Communities typically offer a plethora of on-site amenities such as wellness programs, dining options, recreational activities, and social events. This enables residents to lead active and fulfilling lifestyles while enjoying the convenience of having everything they need.

Through providing a continuum of care and an array of services and amenities, Life Plan Communities afford older adults the chance to gracefully age in familiar surroundings, assured that their evolving needs will be accommodated without the upheaval of moving to another community.

senior man trimming rose bushes Independent Living: For Active, Independent Seniors

Independent living is exactly what it sounds like. This level of care is the “lowest” in the continuum of care and is focused more on maintenance of your home and other details so active seniors can live the life they want, free of most chores.

Residents in independent living at East Ridge can choose from stand-alone bungalows or Garden Homes. You can enjoy the privacy and independence of owning your own home, plus the benefits that a community can provide, like dining, maintenance, activities, fitness, and so much more.

Independent living homes are designed to maximize aging independence with features like single-level layouts, step-in showers and tubs, wide hallways and doorways for mobility aids, and bathroom grab bars, ensuring present lifestyle preferences align with future needs.

Assisted Living: The Assistance You Need While Maintaining Independence

Assisted living, the next step in the continuum of care, caters to seniors needing extra support for independent living.

From dressing and bathing to medication management and mobility assistance, this level of care offers personalized assistance tailored to individual needs.

Residents maintain privacy in their own homes while benefiting from flexible, personalized care plans that prioritize choice and empower them to enjoy their senior years on their own terms.

Memory Support: Dignified Support that Honors Individuals

Living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia often necessitates continuous specialized care, which can be emotionally challenging for both residents and their families.

However, residing in a community offering a continuum of care allows individuals diagnosed with memory issues to receive necessary support without relocating.

This ensures smoother transitions, higher quality of life, and greater happiness for residents and their families.

Memory support within the community is provided in a secure environment tailored to dementia patients’ needs, with trained care teams prioritizing memorable moments, enjoyable lifestyles, and a nurturing atmosphere that residents can call home.

Skilled Nursing: A Higher Level of Medical Care

As we get older, our health needs can become more severe. It’s possible that a resident may require more assistance than the other care levels provide on a daily basis. In that case, residents receive skilled nursing care right on campus – again, eliminating the need to move away from their home in order to get the care they need.

Skilled nursing services at East Ridge provide long- and short-term care for those recovering from an illness or injury. Besides the specific medical care required, residents also enjoy all the benefits that our community provides, including dining services, activities, events and social opportunities.

Rehabilitation: Getting You Back on Your Feet

Therapy and rehabilitation services are also offered at East Ridge. This level of care is for individuals who don’t need the consistency of skilled nursing but require services in order to help them recover from an illness or injury so they can return home to their normal lifestyle.

Rehabilitation services include therapies such as speech, occupational and physical, as well as pain management, wound care, joint protection and more.

“Ultimately, a continuum of care is all about providing seniors with choices,” says Marco. “We understand that when you make the move to a senior living community like East Ridge at Cutler Bay, you’re doing so because you’re ready to enjoy everything your senior years have to offer – with the peace of mind of knowing that you never have to move again.

“Our goal is to provide you with the assistance and choices you need so that your golden years are your best years yet.”

senior woman reading a book in here living roomDiscover East Ridge at Cutler Bay

East Ridge at Cutler Bay, a SantaFe Senior Living Community, is Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community. The nonprofit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres.

The community offers a full continuum of care, including independent living garden homes in a neighborhood setting, assisted living, memory support, respite care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services. Give us a call today at 305-290-2346 to schedule a personalized tour.