How proactive and prevention planning will be key to people remaining in the communities they love



February 22, 2021 9:22 am

Dr Lynne Douglas, Chief Executive at Bield Housing and Care believes one of the strongest themes as we come out of the pandemic is the positive impact of proactive community based interventions and greater emphasis on proactive and prevention planning to ensure people continue to live in their homes. Lynne will be speaking on a panel at ITEC Conference March 24.

The impact of 2020 and the enduring pandemic globally will continue to influence this years emerging trends. The social impact of lockdowns and restrictions cannot be underestimated particularly for those individuals of society who are in vulnerable groups.

Greater collaboration across key partnerships such as Health, Social Care and Housing to enable and empower people to live safely and as independently as possible in their own homes or homely setting is a strong theme in 2021. How technology can assist this as the demand grows is an increasing issue.

Considering not only how proactive community based interventions can help people but also putting a greater emphasis on proactive and prevention planning to ensure people can live in their homes is key. The drive to call people who are shielding/in lockdown and check in with what matters to them and any community based assistance they may require has been central to our pandemic strategy. This has also enabled my organisation to understand more fully the needs of our tenants and what is available in local communities to help prevent any deterioration or crisis.

Loneliness and isolation has become a predominant issue in vulnerable groups across the United Kingdom, using digital solutions and equipment that offers face to face communication has been evident in the learning form 2020 that we are bringing into 2021 for both our staff and tenants.

A greater sense of what is important to people has prevailed and the use of wearable technologies to promote walking, physical and mental health is another emerging theme. The lockdown focus has reinforced for many the need to be outside and that small things in nature can be a source of comfort and wellbeing during difficult times. This in the broader sense has encouraged people during this time to pay attention to physical and mental needs also with all agers engaging differently with technology.

In addition to the emerging trends and focus there are also challenges. Principally to foster greater connectivity in this social restricted conditions requires an element of digital literacy. Educating and helping people to become more able to use the digital solutions has and will continue to be a challenge.

Connectivity and access remains an issue not just for the elderly but for many young people in economically deprived areas to ensure that they have broadband, equipment and access to the things that they need to thrive in this difficult time. Intergenerational digital projects are all on hold and there is a limit to how younger people can assist whilst the restrictions remain.

We are hopeful that this too will pass in the coming months. Maximising the technological solutions that help us stay connected, physically and mentally well remain our priority. We look forward to being able to spread at scale some of the learning we have had in 2020 through the use of technology.

Lynne will be joining a panel discussion at ITEC conference on 24 March

To hear more about proactive and preventative trends:
14:30 – 15:30, Parallel Session 1, Main Auditorium

The development of enabling technology and interoperability