“Taking Our 2020 Aging In Place Lessons Into The New Year”

2021 is set before us, right in our current pathway. We have no choice but to move forward, but at the same time, we have such an opportunity to create our future to aligns with our needs and desires.


A year to remember

For many of us, 2020 has been a year to remember – especially for all of the challenges we had to overcome and for all over the adjustments we had to make. It certainly not one that was at all characteristic of previous years and not one that had much that we expected. There were so many adaptations to be made, and yet here we are are the end of it.

It’s not like tomorrow, as we turn the calendar page to reveal 2021 that things are going to suddenly and miraculously change. It’s a process. Still, we have weathered some experiences that will serve us well for the future – especially in the way we lived in and used our homes and how we developed a new relationship with our homes.

No matter what tomorrow brings, 2020 will be a year unlike any other.

2020 was a special year

While we can say that any year is or was a special one because of what happened in it, 2020 will go down as a year unto itself. We have seen years characterized by world wars and conflict, economic uncertainty and upheaval, political unrest, and more positively weddings, graduations, engagements, and the birth or children and grandchildren.

That said, 2020 remains the year of adjustments and change. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, then again wear it. Stay at home and do our best to stay away from crowds and large gatherings without taking necessary precautions.

Businesses have learned how to have their employees and associates work from home. People have learned what it’s like to not commute – and they are liking it. In a way, we have become more responsive because it’s easier to connect with people where they are – even if we don’t know exactly where that is.

A new normal?

Has 2020 presented us with a new normal – a new business model that suggests working from home, ordering what we need online and having it delivered, and communicating with friends, loved ones, clients, and business associates online is not only acceptable but desirable?

We have turned our back, out of necessity, on some of our old patterns of behavior such as driving to the office, shopping at the mall, or attending sporting events and concerts in-person. We have become engaged participants on our own terms from within our homes. It’s become an online connected world – at least over the past several months.

As we have been experiencing this rapid change in how we conduct business and how we interact with friends, family, and business associates (and even professionals such as doctors), it’s possible that we won’t be returning to the way it was twelve months ago.

People had adopted a new pattern of behavior in working from home, and returning to the office environment – while something that was the norm a year ago – is not going to feel as comfortable to them. We may have unintentionally redefined the work environment on a going-forward basis.

Our aging in place homes

As we have been working from home and attending webinars, conferences, and other educational events from our homes via internet services, we are finding that we like it. There’s far less downtime with commuting, getting ready, and making accommodations for people who have scheduling conflicts.

We are able to connect with business associates or attend events even if we are feeling less than our normal selves or we are caring for pets, children, or parents while the events are being conducted. This could never happen in an in-person environment.

We have found a place in our homes from which we can work, and we aren’t as concerned about what other people might see in the background – perfection is not as important as convenience and sharing a side of ourselves and our home life that people don’t typically experience. It’s made us more real and transparent to those we are connecting with and meeting.

Our homes have undergone an examination of how well they can accommodate us being in them during typical working hours -we already were there before and after the business day – and largely have passed the test. We are finding that our homes work well for us, and in some cases even better than might have imagined. Most of us never considered the possibility or likelihood of working from home although that might have been a wishful thought.

So, as aging in place professionals, our clients, and those we have yet to meet whom can help, we are moving into 2021 with more knowledge and insight into how our homes can accommodate us being in them for several hours during the day. We can help anyone with anything identified which can be improved. While homes generally are serving people well as they have transitioned to remaining in them for more hours during the day, people likely have identified a few tweaks, changes, updates, and additional features they would like to have.

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