As we look to the future, we reflect on the past.
In 2019, every Oasis center experienced expansion in one way or another—class additions, tutoring growth, physical space, new participants, new partnerships, and new opportunities. Entering 2020 with significant momentum, seeds planted in 2019 were turning into green shoots. In March, COVID-19 changed everything, and Oasis swiftly pivoted in response.
When Oasis began shifting programs from in-person to online and via phone, participants quickly made the shift with us. Rather than conforming to stereotypes of older adults being averse to new technologies and change, I saw the exact opposite—Oasis participants embraced it, and we have been inspired by their resilience.
As we navigate the “new normal” in the thick of a global pandemic, we beg the question, “what happens next?” We are compelled to reprioritize and express our mission differently to meet unanticipated needs. Experts paint an altered picture of how life-as-we-know-it will look post-pandemic. How will voluntary social distancing—or lack thereof– affect the lives of older adults? How can we protect the health of aging communities while simultaneously avoiding the adverse effects of social isolation?
Older adults are most at risk of severe complications from COVID-19. But, the dangers of loneliness are not new; our aging family members and neighbors were more likely to experience social isolation before the pandemic and will do so well after.
Let’s unite and reimagine aging in a new climate with both new risks and new opportunities. Whether for yourself or an aging loved one or friend—Oasis’ mission applies to all of us. Aging is inevitable. The choices we make influence HOW we age, and the Oasis community learns, expands, moves, and adapts as we grow older. Although we can’t be together in person for the time being, we hope to connect with you through our virtual programs and volunteer opportunities.
Every tomorrow is in the future, and with it a new opportunity to learn, build confidence, and grow. We at Oasis are here for you. Let’s reimagine aging together.