Older Adults and Laughter: It really IS the best medicine!

older adults love to laughOlder Adults Should Laugh Their Way to a Healthier Life!

Last week one of Mallard Landing‘s sister communities, Spring Mill Senior Living, hosted their annual “Funny Fashion Show”.  At Spring Mill, this is an opportunity for employees and residents alike to let loose and show of their senses of humor. As you can see from the pictures (if you follow this link), it didn’t matter if you were modeling in the Funny Fashion Show or simply an audience member, everyone in the room was laughing and having a wonderful time.

Looking at these pictures lead me to think about the old saying “laughter is the best medicine.”  It’s an old adage that we’ve all heard a thousand times before. Laughter certainly lifts our spirits in times of trouble and bonds us with those we are close to, but does it truly have medical benefits?  Are there noticeable benefits for older adults? For the answer, I searched the web and found it on the Huffington Post.  In their article, they speak of a study of 20 older adults in their 60s and 70s,  out of Loma Linda University.  The goal was to measure the participants’ stress level and short term memory while one group watched comedic videos and another group sat silently.  The results are highlighted below:

After 20 minutes, the participants gave saliva samples and took a short memory test. While both groups (of older adults) performed better after the break than before, the “humor group” performed significantly better when it came to memory recall. Participants who viewed the funny videos had much higher improvement in recall abilities, 43.6 percent, compared with 20.3 percent in the non-humor group.

Moreover, the humor group showed considerably lower levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” after watching the videos. The non-humor group’s stress levels decreased just slightly.

The article goes on to say that according to Gurinder S. Bains, a Ph.D. candidate at Loma Linda University, who co-authored the study. “Older adults need to have a better quality of life. Incorporating time to laugh, through social interaction with friends, enjoying exercise in a group setting, or even watching 20 minutes of humor on TV daily, can enhance your learning ability and delayed recall.”

So what does this study tell us?  It tells us that older adults should find the things that make them laugh and enjoy their time; they should find people they enjoy doing these things with; and they should do it as often as possible!

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS: Opposing View Points

ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE

Is The Ice Bucket Challenge the Best Way to Get Donations for ALS?

Regardless of your age, chances are that if you have access to a television or, more likely, the internet, you’ve heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (#IceBucketChallenge) that is spreading like wildfire.  The Ice Bucket Challenge is a challenge where a person dumps a bucket filled with icy cold water over their heads and then nominates a few of their friends to take part in the plunge. These friends need to do this in 24 hours or donate $100 to the ALS Association at ALSA.org. But even though the Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere on social media, is it doing as much good for ALS research as it could?

According to NBC news, “The challenge started in Massachusetts with former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness, loss of the use of arms and legs and difficulty speaking, breathing and swallowing.

Frates, who can no longer speak, posted his own ice bucket challenge video to the tune of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” and dared a few people to try it. A social media firestorm ensued, extending well beyond the gates of Boston College.

After posting their ice bucket videos to social media, participants nominate others to take the plunge and keep the cycle going. If those challenged don’t accept within 24 hours, they’re asked to donate to ALS research or to the charity of their choice.

Challenge accepted or not, donations have been pouring in. According to The ALS Association spokeswoman Carrie Munk, the organization has collected $1.35 million from July 29 to Aug. 11. That’s not counting donations to chapter offices around the country, Munk said. During the same time period last year, donations totaled $22,000.”

Most recently, the Kennedy family, including matriarch Ethel Kennedy participated in the ice bucket challenge and challenged President Obama to participate.

But not everyone is a fan of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Ben Koskinski recently blogged about his viewpoints on Huffington Post and he chalked the Ice Bucket Challenge up to a new phenomenon called slacktivism.

“Slacktivism is a relatively new term with only negative connotations being associated with it as of recently. The whole thinking is that instead of actually donating money, you’re attributing your time and a social post in place of that donation. Basically, instead of donating $10 to Charity XYZ, slacktivism would have you create a Facebook Post about how much you care about Charity XYZ- generating immediate and heightened awareness but lacking any actual donations and long term impact.”

He goes on to explain, “When the #IceBucketChallenge started, the person who was challenged to participate had 24 hours or else they had to donate $100. However, due to the viral nature of the videos, this major component has mostly evaded the majority of the videos. Instead, people buy the bags, set up a camera, grab a bucket and think of which friends they’re going to tag. You probably didn’t get the right angle the first go around and maybe the second time you fumbled your words- oops, more ice. By the end of it, you might have bought 6 bags and spent 30 minutes on creating this video…. and although the ALS Assocation has seen as much as four times as many donations during this time period than last year, just imagine with me for one second: What if the thousands of people who spent money on buying one or two bags of ice actually gave that money to ALS? It would be out of control.”

For me, the jury is still out on whether or not the Ice Bucket Challenge is the best way to raise money for ALS. It is certainly raising awareness and increasing donations as NBS news reports, but I also see Mr. Kosinski’s view point… What if the challenger donated the money he spent on bags of ice to ALS?  What’s your opinion?

This article originally appearing on Lakeside Assisted Living’s blog.

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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Mallard Landing Sister Community Raises Money for a Friend

CashforCaseyCollageOn Saturday, July 26th, staff and friends of Spring Mill Senior LivingMallard Landing Retirement Community’s sister community, joined together for a car wash.  But it wasn’t just any car wash…  it was a car wash to raise money for a friend and fellow employee, Casey Batyko.  Casey was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Hodgkin’s lymphoma — formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease — is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin’s lymphoma progresses, it compromises your body’s ability to fight infection.”

“Despite the rain and clouds in the morning, we had a great turn out,” says Georgia Marchionne of Spring Mill.  “Staff and their family members volunteered their time washing and drying cars, and flagging in passers-by from rt. 113.” Georgia adds that her daughters sold Lemonade and bottled water to drivers while they waited for the cars to get clean.  The grand total raised?    “$1066.65!  Amazing…  everyone is definitely rallying around Casey!”

The funds raised will help offset the costs of Casey’s mounting medical bills.  To support Casey, a wonderful friend and hard worker, visit the “Cash for Casey” page on  GiveForward.com. Or take part in our final fundraising event of the summer, a chinese auction from August 11th-15th.  Tickets are $2 per ticket, $3 for 5 tickets, or $10 for 10 tickets.  The drawing will be held at Spring Mill Senior Living on Friday, August 15th at 2PM.

This article originally appeared on Spring Mill Senior Living’s blog.

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How to Sell Your Home This Summer

How to sell your homeHow to Sell Your Home Fast!

The home buying season is in full swing!  Realtors say that 50% of homes are sold during the three month, summer season alone. That’s a lot of homes! So if you’re planning to put your house on the market – now is the time! And in today’s world, it isn’t just about finding the right realtor… it’s about getting your home ready for the discerning buyers who will be visiting.  Dailyfinance.com recently released some ideas that will show you how to sell your home in an article title, “6 Essential Steps to Sell Your House This Summer:”

  1. Tackle the obvious repairs. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to notice the cracks and squeaks in your home, thereby reducing their asking price. Before putting your home on the market, take a walk through your home and see it through a prospective buyer’s eyes. Make note of scratches, cracks, squeaks, etc., and make the necessary repairs. Investing in small fixes ahead of time will help you sell your home faster and end of saving money in the long run.
  2. Remove clutter and junk now.  If you’re planning to sell your home and move, chances are you will be doing a lot of decluttering as you pack your home up. Why not be proactive and declutter your home early – before your home goes on the market – so the home looks large and spacious to prospective buyers?
  3. Depersonalize your home. When buyers walk through a home, they want to envision themselves living in the space – not the family that currently lives there.  Take some time to remove the majority of personalized décor – family portraits, monogrammed items, awards, etc. – before people walk through.  You’ll have to box these items up once you sell your home anyway!
  4. Remove anything polarizing. Don’t give buyers a chance to prejudge your home. Examples of polarizing items include religious and political items… even certain types of artwork that buyers might find offensive.

For the remaining two tips on how to sell your home, read the full article here: “6 Essential Steps to Sell Your House This Summer”

This post originally appeared on lakesideassistedliving.com!

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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Skincare for Older Adults Will Help Keep Skin Youthful

skincare for older adults

Proper Skincare for Older Adults is Important!

As a person ages their skin become more thin, frail and less likely to repair itself.  And with the summer season approaching it is important to remember to take care of your skin!  After all, the summer season is the time when the sun is at its peak strength and when our skin is most susceptible to severe damage!  It is so important to practice good skincare for older adults.  STLtoday.com recently reviewed  5 tips for good skincare for older adults:

  1. Sunscreen is the most powerful skin protectant available. Dermatologists recommend an application of SPF 30 formula to exposed skin daily, whether you’ll be indoors or out. Sunscreen of this strength is scientifically proven to absorb 97% of harmful UV rays, which are able to pass through clouds and glass. Reapply sunscreen after sweating or showering and apply liberally.
  2. Whether you’re indoors or out, prevent sun damage to elderly skin by finding a shady area or porch, especially during the hottest parts of the day. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that the sun’s rays are strongest in North America between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Available now are special summer apparel such as t-shirts and hats, designed to protect skin from the sun’s rays.
  3. Wear protective clothing and accessories. Cover skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses. Also consider laundry additives which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for multiple washes.
  4. Be cautious of prescribed medications and sun exposure. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause skin to become oversensitive to sunlight. This might result in serious skin damage including sunburn, blisters, rashes or swelling. Consult your doctor to learn more about medication and sun exposure.
  5. Daily cleansing and shaving can irritate sensitive skin. To prevent skin irritation limit exposure to hot water, avoid strong soaps, moisturize skin, and pat dry when using a towel.

It’s important for older adults, to remember these tips so they can avoid causing permanent damage to already weakened skin.

This article originally appeared on springmillseniorliving.com

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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A Purposeful Life Leads to a Healthier Life

Having a purposeful life is importantStudy Shows Leading a Purposeful Life Has Health Benefits

The New York Times blog, “The New Old Age”, is continually a source of information for me. The articles they post are always very timely and interesting. A recent post by Paula Span, “Living on Purpose”, is no different. The post focuses on research that argues that leading a purposeful life can increase one’s health and longevity.

An excerpt from Ms. Span’s article about leading a purposeful life:

It turns out that purpose is, on many counts, a good thing to have, long associated with satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning, even better sleep. “It’s a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age,” said Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago.

She and her colleagues have been tracking two cohorts of older people living independently in greater Chicago, assessing them regularly on a variety of physical, psychological and cognitive measures. The subjects agreed to donate their brains after their deaths.

What have the scientists learned? Let’s start with arguably the most feared disease of old age. Following almost 1,000 people (age 80, on average) for up to seven years, Dr. Boyle’s team found thatthe ones with high purpose scores were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of Alzheimer’s than those with low scores; they were also less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, often a precursor.

“It also slowed the rate of cognitive decline by about 30 percent, which is a lot,” Dr. Boyle added.

Purposeful people were less likely to develop disabilities. And they were less likely to die: a sample of 1,238 people followed for up to five years (average age: 78) by Rush researchers found that those with high purpose had roughly half the mortality rate of those with low purpose.

For more information about this study and further ways that leading a purposeful life can improve a person’s health and longevity, read the full article.

This article originally appeared on TheSummitRetirement.com

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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The Battle with Aging: One Woman’s Love/Hate Relationship with Aging

Battle with aging

How to Fight in the Ever-Present Battle with Aging

The aging process is an experience that every person handles different. Some people handle it with grace, while some choose to go the ‘mid-life crisis’ route. However a person deals with aging, it is a process that is undergone with plenty of uncertainty – especially for women. “Is 60 the new 40?” “How long do I have to deal with hot flashes?” These questions are just some of a few that many women ask themselves (and their friends).  Michele Garber recently penned an article on About.com that highlighted her own “love/hate” battle with aging.

Last year, Ms. Garber turned 60.  This milestone led her to think about this new stage in life, and what she, in her future decades would look like. The beauty regimen that worked for her grandmother was different than what worked for her mother.  Likewise, her own beauty regimen will be different than what worked for her mother.  It is truly interesting how the battle with aging changes generation to generation.

Michele’s grandmother embraced growing old as a simple fact of life. Her secret was a “healthy lifestyle, good skincare, a belief in God, and a positive outlook on life.  On the other hand, her mother chose to combat aging by changing her lifestyle more than beauty treatments. Personally, Michele has chosen to take a more proactive approach to her battle with aging. She colors her hair every three weeks, gets botox injections regularly and has gone under the knife several times.  She gets chemical peels and regular facials.

But Michele also states that what works for her won’t work for others, and that she is continually impressed by women who chose to age naturally and do so with style and grace. Whatever way a woman chooses to age, it should be about how the process makes her feel – not about how society thinks a woman should look and act.  Every woman’s battle with aging is unique and we should not judge.

This article originally appeared on summersgate.com!

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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5 Ways to Enjoy Retirement. Spend Your Kids Inheritance!

Enjoy RetirementLive a little. Enjoy Retirement.

An article on Huffington Post recently caught my eye: Spend it! You Earned it. 5 Great Ways to Begin Spending Your Kids’ Inheritance Today.  My immediate reaction was, “Say what?!”  After all, retirement and financial advisors throughout the years emphasize the importance of saving money – not spending money – and isn’t it natural for a parent to want to leave something for their children after they pass on? But Jerry Patterson, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Investor Services at Principal Financial Group touts the importance of spending money in order to enjoy retirement.

Mr. Patterson says, “Unexpected things can happen in retirement (I write about them all the time) and many of them can have material financial consequences. With that said, tomorrow could be your last. Managing your money in retirement and LIVING a rich life in retirement is about balance. Don’t be like the so many people who spend most of their time worrying about all of the lurking dangers. Live a little!”  He goes on to suggest 5 ways in which you can spend money, and enjoy retirement.

  1. “Ramp up your charitable giving” – In order to enjoy retirement, it’s not just about buying material things and going on vacations.  It’s about investing in causes that are near and dear to your heart – not just financially, but in time as well.
  2. “Take a family vacation” – Another way to enjoy retirement is to take a family vacation.  Spend some of that hard earned money (that you intend to give your children after you to pass) on a memorable trip so you can enjoy the present with those you love.  Chances are that memory will mean more to them than any amount of money you bestow to your family.
  3. “Travel. I mean travel” – After you take that big, crazy family vacation with the whole family, take a trip so you can enjoy retirement with your spouse.
  4. “Remodel or redecorate” – Invest in the things you wish to enjoy retirement. Build a craft room so you can scrap book in the comfort of your home, in your on special area of the home.  Remodel your closet so you have the master closet of your dreams.
  5. “Bucket List” – Buy the car you always dreamed of. Snag that vacation home you always wished you had.  Invest in bucket list items that can leave a legacy of memories for your family.

To read detailed explanations of Mr. Patterson’s insights, visit the full article at: Huffingtonpost.com

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

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Aging Well: Putting Education Into Action

Aging Well Secret - Walk!The Journal of the American Medical Association recently released results of a study that reinforces what we’ve known about aging for some time; physical activity is so important to aging well.  A New York Times summary of this report states that “while everyone knows that exercise is a good idea, whatever your age, the hard, scientific evidence about its benefits in the old and infirm has been surprisingly limited.”  Dr. Marco Pahor, the director of the Institute on Aging at the University of Florida in Gainesville adds, “for the first time, we have directly shown that exercise can effectively lessen or prevent the development of physical disability in a population of extremely vulnerable elderly people.”

In an effort to further study how the concept of aging well, the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE), began recruiting participants in 2010.  In contrast to other studies whose participants were in relatively good shape, this study sought out those who were sedentary and infirm.  1635 participants were selected between the ages of 70 and 89, who scored below a nine on a 12-point scale of physical ability.  Participants were randomly assigned an exercise or education group.

Exercise Important for Aging Well

The education group was asked to visit the research center monthly to learn about nutrition, exercise and how it relates to aging well.  The exercise group received information on aging well, but also started a walking and light exercise program.  After more than 2.5 years of study, it was determined that the exercising volunteers were 18 percent less likely to experience an episode of disability during the experiment. They were also less likely to become permanently disabled.

This drives one very strong point home about aging well: learning about proper nutrition and exercise as we age is important, but actually putting learning into action is much more important.

This article originally appeared on SummersGate’s blog.  Click Here!

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

Aging Well: Move to Lakeside

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Technology and Seniors: 10 Items Everyone Should Know About

Technology and SeniorsIt seems like there is a new ‘must have’ gadget every other day being promoted on TV.  With all the noise, how does a person narrow down the technology that is most meaningful to them?  Technology and seniors have historically not been a very good match. But there is so much new technology that can improve the lives of people 55+ and beyond.

Technology and Seniors: 10 Must Have Items

  • Tablets and iPads. From games that promote brain fitness to apps that track health information, a tablet can have a variety of positive impacts on seniors’ lives. Seniors can view photos, listen to music, read, learn languages—plus the devices are lightweight, their touch screens are easy to use, and font sizes can be adjusted for easier reading.
  • Hearing aids. Having to wear a bulky listening device is no longer an excuse for older adults to go without hearing aids. The continuing miniaturization of devices and the improvement of wireless transmission methods like Bluetooth has meant great strides in hearing assistive technology. Hearing aids can be tiny, transparent, and nearly invisible—or even implanted inside the ear itself.
  • Video and computer games. Whether it’s World of Warcraft, Angry Birds, or the Nintendo Wii, video games have been shown to improve cognition, mental agility, and even physical health for seniors, with devices such as the Wii Fit. Not only that, video games can promote social interaction.
  • Skype. Speaking of social interaction, one piece of software every senior should get familiar with is Skype. Communicating with family long-distance is a snap, you can view your loved ones in real time, and it’s available for smartphones, tablets, and regular computers.
  • Health tracking software. If your senior loved one has a computer or a mobile device, they should be aware of the wealth of software and apps available to help monitor their health, remind them of medications, and even track their nutritional needs, empowering them to take charge of their own wellness. It’s a branch of technology that’s invaluable for caregivers, too.
  • Wireless internet. Most of the technologies on this list wouldn’t be possible without wireless internet. If you want your senior parent to take full advantage of these devices, make sure their residence is internet-ready. Even nursing homes are using wireless internet technology to make it easier for residents and care providers to communicate quickly.
  • Smartphones. Cell phones are becoming more senior-friendly, with models that have larger buttons and readouts, as well as photo speed dialing and voice recognition to make usage easier. Not only are cell phones crucial to helping seniors stay connected with friends and family, they may also help perform critical safety functions like providing medication reminders and GPS locations.

To read the full list, visit the article here.

This article originally appeared on Lakeside Assisted Living’s blog.

Mallard Landing: The best on the Eastern Shore.

Mallard Landing Independent Retirement Community in Salisbury Maryland is the premier retirement community on the Eastern Shore. We have been voted the best retirement living community on the Eastern Shore for the last decade! Mallard Landing offers a unique blend of home ownership and rental opportunities with access to many community services without any entrance fees.

The home choices range from spacious cottages to garden-style apartments and offer all the services and amenities you expect to find in a community that emphasizes a gracious lifestyle and peace of mind. View our video here.   For more information about Mallard Landing, call 410-912-1211 or click below for more information.

Technology and Seniors

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