Planning for life in the “New Normal”
20 March 2020 | 0 Comment
When this generation looks back at our lives we will begin to reflect on the three new age defining epochs: BC, DC, and AC.
Life as we knew it “Before Corona” (BC), our current 6-18 months “During Corona” (DC) and then After Corona (AC); the “new norm” of a world left adapting to the extended impact of the global pandemic.
While politicians use the familiar soundbites; “as a country, we will emerge stronger”, the reality is that we know we have changed, and the country that emerges is going to be different.
While Covid-19 is a tragedy for so many people and communities, there will be positives from embracing a new future, AC. We’ve already seen reports that pollution levels are falling, working from home is the new normal, and we’ve all suddenly remembered how to wash our hands properly. Many of us have felt a sense of community for the first time in our lives. This imposed isolation has given us more virtual contact with loved ones and forced us to meet neighbours for the first time.
In the AC world, we will change not only our approach to planning for large scale health challenges, but for the effects of climate change, civil disruption, and financial and geopolitical challenges as well. As a world, we must now learn to embrace “Resilience”.
At Kraydel we regularly talk about the Resilience of the individual; usually older adults and the importance of planning for life long ageing. This includes ensuring a sense of purpose but also routine – even when our regular routines are disrupted.
But now collectively, citizens, government and businesses need to embrace resilience.
The biggest challenge to treating Covid-19 in the UK has been capacity in the NHS. The government acted swiftly to free up 30,000 of the 100,000 beds in NHS hospitals. Many of these individuals have long been ready for discharge but due to factors including care and monitoring at home, remain in hospital “blocking” beds. Technology such as Kraydel’s Konnect will enable health care professionals to remotely monitor and support patients with virtual care delivered via the TV, enabling large scale care delivery across populations – a necessary component of societal resilience AC
Non-essential physical contact such as admin check-ins and medication reminders are now proving an unnecessary health risk of contamination. With a system like Konnect, these risky and also financially unsustainable activities can be replaced by virtualized care visits and remote caring. The necessities of living and caring DC are driving the Government to remove red tape and rapidly deploy innovations like Konnect. The reduction in costs, travel time, and form-filling that remote support systems like Konnect bring could result in more regular well-being video calls and AC, they mean less bureaucracy and more meaningful human contact time.
One of the biggest challenges DC has been how we communicate and engage with older adults during times of restricted physical contact and addressing their adoption barriers for technologies such as tablets and smartphone apps. For those in social care, the coronavirus has seriously challenged how they engage with the elderly and vulnerable.
To increase resilience a diversity of regular social connections is needed and the ability to pursue interests and hobbies. Most critically a positive outlook on life is required – something which has become increasingly difficult when the news covers soaring death rates and tales of isolation. So, DC, we need to use digital ways of bringing localised community activities to people’s homes to improve social connectivity, as well as enabling people’s access to information and content.
Lifelong ageing will need to embrace lifelong learning, and AC older adults, in particular, will embrace new interests and education at a rate previously never consider possible. All they need is access.
As we make our way through the challenges of DC, we must start turning our attention to AC. We need to take this opportunity to plan for a world After Corona, one that is built on smarter ways of care and a more resilient future.