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More and More Seniors Find They are a Click Away from Connecting with Friends and Family

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October 12th, 2009

HINGHAM, MA Linden Ponds resident Joan McGrath has 11 grandchildren and 28 nieces and nephews. ' Her family members are spread out throughout the country and she would love to see them as much as possible, but distance sometimes gets in the way. The telephone is nice, but seeing photos and likenesses of her relatives is even better; however, she would need to wait for pictures to be mailed and that could take time. ' Over the past couple of months, McGrath has found a new way to improve her connectivity with loved ones. ' She has joined the ranks of those who use social media on the Internet. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project: * 65 percent of those 50-64 years old, and 32 percent of those 65-plus use the Internet. ' Only 22 percent of the 65-plus crowd was online in 2004, and only 15 percent in 2000. * There are 17 million Internet users aged 62-plus. ' They spend an average of 44 minutes per day online. * Facebook and Myspace estimate that there are over 7 million users over the age of 65 on the two sites combined. * The number of users over the age of 55 on Facebook has grown 514 percent over the past few months. I just got back from Cape Cod, McGrath, who is originally from South Boston, writes on Facebook, and we only had one good day of beach weather. ' But now I have to run because I have to go sing at the Linden Ponds Pub! McGrath prefers Facebook to conventional email because, she said, a person can see what many people are doing in one quick glance, and that it is similar to being on a telephone call with all of her friends at once. ' She uses her computer in her bedroom, but is looking into purchasing a laptop computer so she could be more mobile in her social networking communication. Erickson Living, the developer/manager of Linden Ponds, now has its own Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erickson-Living/143513580026. About Linden Ponds: More than 1,000 people live at Linden Ponds, an Erickson full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle. Erickson Retirement Communities is one of the leading national developers of full-service retirement communities. ' Headquartered near Baltimore, Md., Erickson has built an innovative network of communities that combine a maintenance-free active lifestyle with an ever-expanding host of amenities, social activities, and wellness and medical centers, proven to improve both physical and mental health. ' Erickson was named by FORTUNE as being one of the Top 100 2009 Best Companies to Work For ' . For more information about this story, please contact Tony Ciavolella, public relations manager, at 973-839-9377 or 732-425-4635.

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