More and more senior adults are tapping into the privilege that an independent living community has to offer for those 55 and over. And as the United States population continues to get older and baby boomers are reaching retirement age, this segment of the population wants a place to enjoy their golden years in solidarity with other like-minded people who enjoy an active and robust living experience.
Independent living communities are becoming a more appealing option for the 26 percent of the US population that is over 55. Independent living also comes as a comfort for couples when one person may need a little assistance with care. Independent living communities provide residents with the freedom to come and go as they please, but entails a much-desired element of camaraderie, especially beneficial for those who were previously living alone and less likely to be regularly interacting with others.
It is important to note the distinction between independent living and assisted living communities. At assisted living communities, residents have the option to receive more hands-on care to conduct day-to-day activities. Independent living is a maintenance-free, amenity-rich environment for those who desire a less-invasive lifestyle than traditional in-home services may provide.
“The most important thing about picking a community is who works there, being able to manage it,” said Lillian House, whose father, Hal Davis, lived in Starling at Nocatee before he passed away. “You look at them and see how they react to the person you are bringing in.
“Do they care about them? Do they talk to them? Do they look them in the eyes and engage with them?”
House said her father was very satisfied with his experience at Nocatee. “We took a chance and he was very happy,” she added.
Florida is the most rapidly-growing location for senior independent living communities, due to two main factors: warmer weather and the fact that people in this segment of the population know others who have relocated to the Sunshine State.
One of the newest independent-living communities that caters to this burgeoning population is Starling’s Nocatee property, which is in the heart of Nocatee and near Ponte Vedra Beach. Open on Sept. 1, Nocatee has 140 luxury apartments with incredible dining options and endless activities – on site and in the community. A grand opening is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Nov. 19 at 885 Crosswater Parkway in Ponte Vedra.
Starling at Nocatee Independent Living Executive Director Kerri Dufour said what separates Nocatee from other communities is luxury amenities for the resident and their guests, when visiting.
“We have a luxury resort-style setting,” Dufour said. Dufour makes it her purpose to help new residents at Nocatee as they navigate the transition from their home to this setting. “I love to meet people in person to show them the amenities, both at Nocatee, which is a big draw for the families, but also at Starling. “We have a nice big resort style pool area outside and beautiful interior, as well.”
Starling at Nocatee Independent Living offers multiple spacious floor-plans with one and two-bedroom apartments in their Independent Living Community. Apartment homes are nicely appointed with stone counter-tops, stainless appliances, and custom cabinetry.
Once in independent living, residents tend to flourish. At Nocatee, a dedicated culinary team, led by an incredibly talented Chef, provides fine dining. All-inclusive activities ensure that residents’ interests are met, whether it’s entertainment, fitness or day trips.
Depending on the time of day a person visits to view the community, residents may be engaged in a wide range of activities. “If it’s a morning tour, you’ll see people exercising, which is an important activity and something a lot of residents enjoy. “Afternoon activities tend to be art or music, sometimes an educational series, we have guest speakers come in. Depending on the time of your tour, you’ll see different things going on.”
Nocatee also offers a resort-style swimming pool, a full-service spa and fitness studio, and outdoor pickle-ball, bocce, gardening and a putting green. An adjacent, award-winning assisted living and memory care community is also located at Nocatee. For more information, call (904) 299-8104.