“Covid-19 & Aging In Place Implications”

It’s not often we get to exercise an option to reset our lives and begin again; however, we are experiencing such a time that will impact how we age in place in the coming years

The coronavirus is as scary and troublesome as it is a tremendous opportunity for us to push both the pause and reset buttons for our lives – any of us. We are pausing our daily routines as we have known them from the hectic pace that so many of us have maintained and moving to a simpler method of going forward.

We have been accustomed to going into various meetings at our office or driving across town to a meeting, scheduling telephone calls and conferences, working in a webinar attendance, going to the store, taking a lunch or breakfast with friends or clients (existing or potential), having a business or romantic dinner, going to the gym, carpooling the kids to school, and more. Now, almost all of these activities have been put on hold.

We’ve been forced to hit the pause button – like it or not, prepared to do so or not.

This is beneficial for us in many ways because few of us would have done this on our own – it was more or less demanded of us. So, now we have time that we didn’t previously have it’s like getting extra days added to our lives. We get to hit a reset button in terms of using an opportunity that we didn’t think we had to take a step back and look at our lives to see if there are things that we’ve been doing that we really don’t care for or that we’d like to do differently moving forward.

We can begin looking at our lives from the outside and saying to ourselves that we don’t think we like the direction we were going or that we don’t like the way we handled various situations and make the determination to change when everything returns to “normal” in a few weeks or whenever that turns out to be.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to emerge from our cocoon so to speak with renewed power and direction. We can make our lives whatever we would like them to be. If we are homebound to a large degree already, we have the opportunity to improve our homes or have those done for us. As aging in place specialists, we can come into people’s homes and help them have a safer, more comfortable, more accessible existence in their homes.

As for ourselves and our homesteads and families, we have the opportunity to make our homes safer and less hectic as well. This is a perfect time to begin going through some of those items that have been sitting in piles waiting to get sorted or filed away, and we may find that many of them have made their last stop already and the next stop for them would be out of the house, either to the trash or to the thrift store. The days of the yard sale are likely pretty much over – for the time being, and maybe longer. It’s not likely people want to be around other people or touching things not knowing where they’ve been or what may have happened to them previously.

Not to be an alarmist germophobe, but understanding that people are very concerned now that this virus has brought into consciousness the risk that we all face by human interaction that’s changing the days of shaking hands or hugging when we meet people, we are finding that we are returning to a time when we did more things in our homes such as watching TV and videos, playing games, having conversations, fixing up our home, doing yard work, and being more self-contained because we want to stay away from the outside world and the number of opportunities for us to go places has diminished. Many stores and restaurants gyms are closed or open on a reduced schedule.

We will need to rethink the 5-second rule as well where food is dropped on the floor or countertop and we pick it up and eat it as if nothing has happened. This concept likely will not be followed anymore and will need to be removed from our rules of procedure. In today’s environment, we’re learning that it’s hard to be too safe that we must be ever-vigilant about touching things, what we put into our mouths and touching our faces. Other activities which we’ve been very nonchalant or cavalier about over the years knowing that our bodies are very resilient and capable of fighting off common bacteria and viruses, but we might be entering an age when these super viruses are much more prevalent and dangerous for us.

Nevertheless, we have the opportunity to hit “reset” and move on from here in a way we like and choose for ourselves, our families, and our businesses (which then means our clients as well).

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