Taking it one day at a time, digitally

Written by: Carmen Paputa-Dutu, the ALLIANCE
and Giulia Melchiorre, , the ALLIANCE

Published: 01/04/2020

As we are all asked to stay at home, we have put together a list of technologies that can help us manage our everyday lives.

Recent events have brought unprecedented changes to how we live our lives: the pace of our daily routines has changed, the outdoors have become a time-limited resource and work has shifted from the office to our dining tables, spare rooms or couches. Depending on our own individual situations, we might be feeling as if we’re losing our independence, are being isolated or even cut-off from the world. 

Maintaining a sense of normality is just as important now as ever, if not more. And luckily, if you are online, the digital world means we can still connect with others and carry on with some of our routines. For example, just because you can’t go to your favourite café, doesn’t mean you can’t have a coffee with your friends. Why not take this opportunity to learn how to make an authentic cup of cappuccino using an online tutorial and then connect with your friends through a video chat platform? 

Below are some potential resources and tools that you might want to use, based on our staff’s personal experiencesThis list is neither exhaustive* nor endorsed by the ALLIANCE**, so we invite you to approach these tools with curiosity, an open mind and pragmatism. As always, make sure to check the terms and conditions for any tools or platforms, to ensure that they are safe to use and appropriate. Some tools might not be right for you, but are there any other similar ones you can find? Or maybe something we missed out? Let us know by tweeting us at @DHCscot. 

Tools for home life 

  • Chores: Depending on your home situation, you might find yourself spending a lot more time in a smaller space with more people than you’re normally used to. Tempers can run highSo, it’s a good idea to try and keep the running of the household light-hearted and fun. This tool can help you divide tasks, but also reinforce good habits and encourages activities amongst your family members or housemates: Our Home (this link will take you away from our website). 
  • Cooking: With more time to spend at home, it’s the perfect time to learn new recipes and revisit old favourites. While Mob kitchen (this link will take you away from our website) can help you get inspired by new recipes, BBC Good Food (this link will take you away from our website) lets you explore recipes by ingredient or find recipes with five ingredients or less.  
  • Inventories: With the prospects of self isolation on the horizon, it’s good to know what you have in the fridge and the pantry. “If only there was an app to help track foods and Use By dates, we were telling ourselves about a week ago while contemplating what to do with some tinned peaches 4 years out of date.  Alas, there is an app for that: Out of Milk (this link will take you away from our website). 

Tools for socialising and keeping in touch 

Tools for learning and personal development 

Of course, we need to also consider those with less opportunity to contribute digitally. Can we use the time we now have together to share some of these tools within our own households, perhaps working together with younger and older relatives to widen our digital skills? And what can we do about those at risk of complete isolation? There is currently a programme of work being undertaken to look at potential solutions. Find out more at No One Left Behind in a Digital Scotland, where you can also express an interest if you want to be part of this work (this link will take you away from our website). 

In our next article, we will put together a list of tools that you might want to use for your health and wellbeing specifically. Whether you are a carer, living with a long term condition or simply looking to better self manage during these uncertain times, we’ll try to provide some pointers and resources. If there is anything in particular that you are looking for, or if your organisation provides a digital service that people can access now, please get in touch with us at DHCscot@alliance-scotland.org.uk or on Twitter @DHCscot. 

* There are already some great resources online that summarise useful work tools, exercise platforms or mental health resources. Check them out here: 

** Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed to provide potentially helpful information on staying connected and engaged during the COVID-19 lockdown. The selection of apps and tools is arbitrary, based on personal experiences and word of mouth, and intended to be used as a guide only. None of these apps are endorsed by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and the Terms and Conditions of each one should be checked before use.

Please note this information is accurate at the date of publication of this ALLIANCE opinion item, 3 April 2020.

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