RetComLife #24 – Lockdown & Communications

Today’s post of my view of my retirement community is about the latest lockdown and how my community is communicating with the residents.

The Omicron version of COVID-19 has much of the country running scared right now, and my retirement community is no exception.

  • The dining room is all but inaccessible again, at least to me.
  • Social things have been cancelled.
  • Everyone must wear masks whenever they leave their apartments.
  • Everyone must check out when leaving the community, and back in when they come back.
  • If you feel sick, stay in your apartment.

Given that the original virus ravaged nursing homes and retirement communities, this response was not unexpected. Hopefully, it will return to some form of normalcy in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I will be preparing all my meals in my apartment as long as my groceries last, and then maybe venture out to get some more. I was looking forward to sampling some more cuisine from our new chef. What I have had so far is exceptional compared to before he came.

The second topic for this post is about how the community gets its communications from the staff and other community members.

Being an IT guy, I know how electronic communications via web-based media can make life easier to relay information and promote dialog. Unfortunately, my retirement community has not come onboard with that yet. They are still stuck in the 20th century printed paper as the primary means of letting us know what we need to know.

With the proliferation of social media in the last 20 years, communicating with each other has become a rather easy thing now. Just log on to Facebook to see how family members are celebrating their lives. Get messages via text messaging, email, or thousands of websites and blogs to quickly get what you need to know. The 21st century is all about convenient communications.

I realize that only about half of my fellow residents currently have smartphones or tablets, but I kinda think that if my community started using 21st century methods of keeping us informed, more would quickly get the tools to participate. Here’s a radical idea that some retirement communities are doing, they are providing those tools to all residents that need them!

I certainly would be nice to be able to log onto a site every morning to get what is happening that day. Maybe even provide some quick feedback about how good the meal was in the dining room last night. Maybe send a message to one of the special events of the day to ask a question.

I know other communities are incorporating these tool, and I am hoping that someday my community will do the same. Since I did this in the corporate world, I might even volunteer to help them if they asked. In fact, I may just start up an “unofficial” community forum site on my own, just to get the ball started. 😎

2 thoughts on “RetComLife #24 – Lockdown & Communications

  1. I honestly don’t understand the resistance to new technology among some of our age peers. Throughout our lives, we’ve already adapted to so many changes, from windows that power up at a touch in our cars, GPS systems that guide us places or even help the adventurous to participate in geocaching, to phones that don’t have a dial. We use credit cards instead of writing checks in many cases and have learned to adapt to changes in credit card technology. We have learned to insert said credit cards into pumps at the gas station and fill our cars ourselves or check ourselves out, if the main cashiers are busy. My first computer required me to learn the DOS commands to needed to operate it. My then eighteen-month-old quickly picked up the series of commands that she needed in order to get to a word processing application and type away. Zoom and similar platforms have allowed us to continue getting together as a family during a pandemic. It’s as if people get to a certain point and say, “No more. I’ve learned enough,” as resistant as if they’re being asked to scale a 5.15 grade mountain, but we can do this, too. AARP, Senior Planet, and OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) have joined together to present “How to” classes for older adults. I’m a learn-it-my-way sort of person, but that help is available to anyone . . . who has access to a computer or a smart phone. I, like you, think it might be a good idea to provide something like an iPad to every resident. Back in the early 90’s, my oldest daughter’s small liberal arts university did that.


    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Linda. Being a techie all my life I also am astounded how so many older people seem to be afraid of technology could make their lives better. I hope it is not the idea that they just don’t want to learn anymore. I would rather be dead than stop learning.

      One thing about my retirement community is that I am a “youngster” here in that most of the people here are in their 80s and 90s, and even a few above 100. So, almost all of them are pre-Baby-boomers. That means they grew up in the 1940s and 50s, which was a time of conformity and complacency. We Baby Boomers, which I think you are one, grew up in the 1960s and beyond, so we are used to change and conflict.

      Of course that is just a wild guess.


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