COVID-19 has meant all of us are doing things differently. But while it’s been a challenging, frustrating and stressful time, many of us are looking at the world differently. From this, some new opportunities have emerged.
One change that we’ve noticed in the aged-care sector has been the increased uptake of new technologies among older people.
Those who previously had limited experience of the digital world have embraced some of the new ways of doing things. It’s been pleasing to see that many older people – particularly those in aged care residences – have been able to speak with loved ones regularly or virtually attend gatherings through this online option.
While the world of Zoom can’t replace face-to-face gettogethers, it’s created a valuable alternative for connectedness and participation in tricky times.
Another change has been the uptake of older people accessing alternative services – or accessing their existing services in different ways. For instance, many have found new ways to make use of home care packages, opting to receive fresh meals delivered to their home instead of seeking support to head out to the shops for groceries. Although restrictions have eased and we have more chance to get back to regular routines, some people are continuing with these new service options for convenience. It’s all about individual choice. If nothing else, the world we live in now has taught us to be agile and able to look at life differently. It’s given us the chance to explore other ways of doing things. And it’s been a good reminder for us all to take stock – are we happy with how things are, or are there better alternatives and options to consider?
Asking these questions will help us as we move forward as a community, appreciating some of the little silver linings that these past few months have brought.
Mel Ottaway is Executive Manager, Services for Older People