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Technology use on the rise at Eagle’s Trace

Created date

June 19th, 2012

Marilyn Black had never heard of Google Alerts until one of her neighbors at Eagle s Trace told her about the handy tool. Interested in keeping up with news from other Erickson Living communities, Marilyn set up a Google Alert for Erickson Living. Anytime the phrase shows up on the Internet, Marilyn is notified via email. I worked with computers at Exxon before I retired, but I wasn t familiar with Google Alerts, she says. Once I heard about them, I tinkered until I got one set up. In mid-April, she received a notification that residents at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Northern Virginia, orchestrated a flash mob at Dulles Town Center. My first thought was, We could do that, says Marilyn. She recruited 40 other residents and staff at Eagle s Trace to surprise shoppers at Houston s Memorial City Mall with their own flash mob, a line dance set to an instrumental version of the hip hop song Wobble. It was a fun thing to do, says Marilyn. And it all started with seeing it on the Internet.

Joining social media sites

For many older Americans, technology use is stretching beyond Internet searches and email. A third of Internet users over the age of 65 use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center s Internet and American Life Project. That marks a 150% increase over a two-year period. Margot Curtis opened a Facebook account a year ago to keep up with her grandchildren, scattered from coast to coast. You have to adapt to keep up with changing technology, says Margot, who heads up the Mac computer group at Eagle s Trace. We ve added several new members to our club who joined to learn more about their iPads. Ray Ledlie, a retired intellectual property attorney for Dow Chemical, was using a social networking site even before the advent of Facebook. One of my grandchildren set up a family website, says Ray. It s an easy way to notify the whole family at once when there s news to share. That s how I told them I was moving to Eagle s Trace.

More to explore

Not only are seniors expanding their online presence, an increasing number of organizations are reaching out to older Americans via the Internet. Erickson Living is no exception. Recently, the company unveiled its new customer-focused website at EricksonLiving.com. Under the Communities tab, prospective residents and their families can visit Eagle s Trace by taking a virtual tour. We try to provide as much information online as possible, says Jon Gold, webmaster for Erickson Living. The virtual tour allows prospective residents and their families to visit the community from the comfort of their own living room. It s one more tool to help them decide if Eagle s Trace is the right fit for them. To watch the Eagle's Trace flash mob click here:http://youtu.be/ArbTtgwdCk4

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