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Children Follow in Footsteps of Their Parents Choosing East Ridge for Their Retirement Home

Jul 11, 2016 | News

Second Generation ResidentsWhile some children may follow in their parent’s footsteps attending the same college, playing sports or pledging a fraternity or sorority, it may be far from the norm for children to follow in their parents footsteps in choosing a retirement community.

Three East Ridge at Cutler Bay families have done just this and followed in their parents’ footsteps making the life plan community their home.

They cite some of the same reasons as did their parents despite the difference between the generations.

The recent addition of the new Three Palms Health Center with accommodations for assisted living, memory care and both short and long term rehabilitation care are positive changes the families have seen.

Contributing factors to the decision to move to East Ridge are similar between the generations.  The second generation shares their parents desire to downsize and sell a family’s large home as well as the security found at East Ridge. The second generation of residents concur they were simply tired of the home maintenance and thought there was a better way to live.

Patricia Crow’s mother, Virginia Duggan, lived at East Ridge for 13 years moving to the community when she was 87 in 1983. East Ridge was having an open house event and Patricia suggested they “take a look” at the community.

Her mother selected East Ridge because Pat lived nearby.  “I’m not sure how we heard about East Ridge but it seemed perfect,” Crow said. “If she was living at East Ridge it was easy to pick her up on Fridays and she could stay with the family every weekend.  This provided mom a great relationship with her grandchildren.”

Patricia has lived at East Ridge for only a year and didn’t want to burden her children who lived out of state. She told them she wanted to look at East Ridge again.  Having downsized to a condominium when her husband was alive, she felt that East Ridge would be a better option and knew it had suited her mother.

Barrie Reed’s mother, Genevieve Preuss, was 80 and living in New York at West Gilgo Beach prior to moving to East Ridge. In 2006, while it was a coincidence that the Reeds moved in the same year Barrie’s mother died, their reasons were similar.  They wanted the security of care as they aged.

“You don’t have to worry about someone knocking at your door in the middle of the night. You don’t have to worry about personal safety living at East Ridge,” said Barrie.


Jackie and Mac Smith followed Mac’s mother to East Ridge as well as fulfilling their promise to her.  In 1988 Mac’s mother, Elizabeth Smith, moved to East Ridge while Jackie’s mother, Mildred Cordes followed in 1994.

While the first, Mrs. Smith, didn’t want to move to East Ridge, Mac and his brother were concerned for her safety and living in a house alone.  The villas were just introduced which she liked. Mac and Jackie promised her they would join her as soon as they retired.  They moved to East Ridge three years after she settled at the community.  They are the longest living East Ridge residents having lived here for 25 years.  Initially, they would spend six months of the year out west but now spend more of their time at the community.

Jackie’s mother took advantage of the opportunity to combine residences and was able to put three together and was the first person to live in 401-403.

Some of the activities found on the East Ridge lifestyle calendar are as popular as ever.  The Lifestyle Center has been renovated and offers a full size auditorium and theater.  Scrabble and dominos are part of Game Night although there wasn’t an official designated Game Night. People would just get together and play board games.

“My mother loved the chorus,” said Reed. She toured in road show performances out of high school and loved to sing. Reed remembers his mother singing songs from Naughty Marietta and the Student Prince.  The East Ridge chorus was perfect for her and gave her the opportunity to sing the songs she knew.

The community now has a new rhythm band replacing the chorus under Jackie’s direction and renamed it “The Grateful Alive Rhythm band”.

“Back in the day, the Dade County School system sent a dozen sewing machines to East Ridge and an instructor would teach the ladies sewing,” Jackie recalls. “The class was quite popular. Elizabeth Smith learned to make doll clothes as an East Ridge resident and people would save her fabric.”

Today’s emphasis on fitness and wellness is vastly different than when their parents lived at East Ridge.  The community’s wellness center now exists with a fulltime fitness coordinator.  The second generation is much more into fitness classes than their parents.

“Years ago, East Ridge had a swimming pool and putting green but otherwise you were on own,” she added. The ladies would get together and use the putting green which is still here. Golf carts continue to be a popular mode of transportation.”

The second generation residents recall the dining room offered only buffet style dining and a self-serve yogurt machine where you could make your own ice cream cones.  Today, the dining room is restaurant style service which these residents prefer.

The children of the first generation of residents are as eager as their parents to be volunteers and involved in East Ridge.  Barrie’s mother referred to herself as a “block head” when she became the block chairperson. The Smiths and Reeds have served on various committees and chaired some too.

It’s also healthy to live with people from the same generation,” Barrie explained.  “It’s enriching to be exposed to the life stories of residents. We have people to talk too.  We grew up during the same time but have such different life experiences. “

This may be also a factor in successful aging.

“Sure, people talk about their health but you can learn from others,” he added. “Someone may talk about a particular experience with their hearing aids and there is someone else who may have had a similar experience.” he added.

To learn more about East Ridge, please call 305-256-3564.