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Cambridge, Md. – Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Nursing Homes 2014 list.

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On April 22,2014, Elders at Mallard Bay joined in on Signature Healthcare’s initiative to hold a Spring Break day for all their homes. We spent the entire morning and early afternoon outside in our courtyard.  Phyllis Coleman, administrator, was stationed on the grill and barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers for all the elders. The dietary staff put on a delicious picnic themed lunch with corn on the cob, potato salad, deviled eggs, and watermelon in addition to the hotdogs and hamburgers. Our activities staff provided several activity stations outside: soccer, basketball, and bird feeders. Elders and staff also helped dig up old plants and put down new flowers, and a tomato and herb garden. Buddy Bloom was our live DJ for three hours, and played music encouraging dancing and singing. A total of 60 elders participated in this event! More elders than ever ate in the dining room that day, and some even ate in the courtyard! This event was successful due to the participation for various departments. Administrative staff, management staff, and line staff all enjoyed taking a day away from their normal duties to participate in the various activities. Everyone had a great time!

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071 077 083 084A few elders spend the day out at Choptank Bowling Alley in Cambridge, MD. They enjoyed two games of bowling and pizza for lunch. It was a day filled with fun. For one elder, it was the first time she had ever bowled.

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Mallard Bay is holding a Pampered Chef Raffle to raise money for the activities department. Tickets are currently on sale until April 28th and are $10 each. You can purchase tickets from anyone in Activities or the Receptionist at the front desk. The drawling will be held on April 29th. There will be two winners earning $250 in Pampered Chef items of their choice.  We appreciate all the support.

Recently Mallard Bay nursing home was challenged to incorporate the making of a music video into the daily routine of the elders. The Signature Healthcare corporate staff decided it would be fun to have a friendly competition amongst all its Signature Healthcare homes. Of course, no competition is complete without a prize. The prize in this case was money to be used toward a vacation for the elders. Mallard Bay specifically is attempting to raise about $4,000 which would allow a group of 10 to attend a 3 day, 2 night vacation to Atlantic City, NJ at no cost to the elder. This would be Mallard Bay’s second overnight vacation with the elders. Last year, a good time was had by all during a 3 day vacation to Branson, Missouri.

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Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay is featured in the December 2013 newsletter from Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems for helping a local man with mental health needs to transition back into community living. Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems is a not-for-profit agency based in Easton, Maryland that is dedicated to planning, managing and monitoring publicly-funded, medically-necessary mental health services in a five-county region.

See below to read the article (click image to enlarge).

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A few months back, residents at Mallard Bay were asked if they wanted to go on an all expense paid trip to Branson, Missouri. Most of the Elders thought I was crazy, joking, or just plain ridiculous.

After hearing various reasons to why each elder declined the offer, I came across Chuck Ruebeck. When approached, he agreed right away without asking too many questions. His immediate response was, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ and ‘I feel like I won the lottery.’

That was it; he was all set to go. Then it was on to the next challenge: finding a peer to travel with him. After another month or two of failed attempts to convince an elder, Eugene Sampson walked through the doors at Mallard Bay as a new resident. He would be the perfect person! When asked, his face lit up with the biggest smile and he had no words but ‘call my sister.’ When I called his sister on the phone, she was more ecstatic then he was. And that was it; Mallard Bay was indeed traveling with two elders to Branson, Missouri.

On the day of the ‘Big Trip,’ Eugene and Chuck were excited and tired. It was 6:00 a.m. and we were about to do the impossible: fly to Branson, Mo. for the vacation of a lifetime. Little did they know, the excitement was about to start. With a little help from our friends at Gene’s Limousine service in Federalsburg, Md., a white stretched limousine pulled up at Mallard Bay to take them to the airport. The smiles grew bigger and reality hit – we were really doing this! Our Limo Driver, Miss Diane, loaded us up and we were on our way.

We safely arrived at the airport, and boarded our plane. For both Eugene and Chuck, it had been many years since they last flew. Eugene served in the Army for 19.5 years and had flown all over the world. He was even a War Correspondent and Combat Photographer, taking pictures while flying in helicopters. He had never thought that life at Mallard Bay nursing home meant flying again, and getting to go on vacation. Chuck was in the same boat, he never thought he’d be going on an airplane while living at Mallard Bay. He hadn’t been on an airplane since he was 13 years old. As the plane took off, our stomachs dropped with excitement, and the smiles continued.

We arrived in Branson later that night, where we were introduced to our new room for the next four days. It was amazing. This was not the hotel room that we expected. Chuck was thrilled that the room had a leather couch, and he claimed it as ‘his spot.’ Eugene discovered a private room off the main room, and he enjoyed cozying up in his large bed. Even better, we had a private deck. We spent a few late nights joking around on the deck, winding down from the day’s adventures. The time spent on the deck was a break from work and life in the nursing home; it was more of a family atmosphere. We recall Eugene sitting back, relaxing that night and saying: ‘So this is life at Mallard Bay…’

The following couple of days, Eugene and Chuck would have their days packed with adventures. Chuck’s favorite part was the 2.5 hour tram ride through Dogwood Canyon. Animals such as buffalo and elk came up to the tram and were in arm’s reach as they grazed on corn. It was a surreal experience. Chuck was able to get off the tram and climb upon a stone buffalo statue. He was having the time of his life as he became animated and posed for various funny pictures. Chuck insists he did indeed pet the buffalo but didn’t tell anyone because we would have ‘freaked out.’ This was definitely a fond memory for him. Eugene was not so fond of the animals and ‘was scared to death but in a good way.’ Eugene’s favorite part of the trip was a speed boat ride that we took one afternoon. He cranked the radio up and his hat flew off in the wind. And there he was, again, with his notorious ear-to-ear smile. The days continued with many more adventures: a train ride, shopping, eating, a chuck wagon dinner, and then line dancing lessons on the last night.

Both Chuck and Eugene enjoyed the atmosphere that last night. Eugene had never had brisket and loved every bite. Chuck had never done much dancing, let alone line dancing, but he was one of the first Elders out on the dance floor ready to learn. Chuck was full of smiles that night as he learned various line dances and made some new friends. Eugene was full of laughs as he wasn’t much of a dancer but couldn’t take his eyes off the dancing crowd.

Eventually, our adventures were coming to an end. We packed up and headed out to the Branson Airport. We all agreed this was the best airport, so little and quaint. The Elders enjoyed having Famous Dave’s for breakfast (it was the only restaurant in the airport!) We boarded the plane and were on our way back to Mallard Bay full of new experiences, pictures, souvenirs, and endless memories. When asked to describe the trip in one word Chuck said ‘Outstanding’ and Eugene said the trip was ‘Exhilarating!’ I asked if they would go on a trip like this again next year, Chuck said “Heck, I’m ready to go again now!”

All in all, the four of us had a wonderful time. We are all so grateful for getting to experience this trip. We are even more grateful for the support we received to make the trip financially possible. The Elders were not asked to pay for anything along the way! We definitely want to thank all the people at the Signature Corporate Office for having this vision of a vacation, and for seeing it through; and our Mallard Bay staff, friends, and family for their continued support. We’d also like to thank all our local sponsors of the trip: The Elk’s, Gene’s Limousine Service, Bay Country Bakery, Bliss Jewelry and Gifts, Crabi Gras, Creek Deli, Dunkin Donuts, Emily’s Produce, Jimmie & Sooks Restaurant, Joyce Spratt (Celebrating Home), Les Simering, Lindy’s Seafood, Melanie Brohawn (Origami Owl), Portside Seafood Restaurant, and TL Morris Seafood.

A very special thank you goes to Mallard Bay employee Tiffany Schmittinger for being our Fundraising Queen!

We had a great time!

– Megan Morrison, Quality of Life Director, Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay

Elders at Mallard Bay enjoy a beautiful day making butter out in the courtyard. They were able to get their exercise by shaking heavy cream and salt in a small container. After about 15 minutes they were able to rest their arms and enjoy homemade butter on crackers. Many of the elders were amazed that it worked, and displayed huge smiles on their faces. Others shared memories of making butter years ago. Later the same week, elders ventured to make homemade lemonade.

On July 25th an art gallery was held showcasing the creative expressions of the Elders at Mallard Bay. Various mediums were used such as: mosaics, acrylic paints, and watercolors. The elder artists were happy to share their art work, and shared stories with visitors during the gallery meet and greet. Light appetizers were served. Their artwork can also be viewed at http://www.reflectnus.com/.

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