Dundee pensioners’ experiences of the Covid-19 crisis have been heard loud and clear by an elite panel in the House of Lords.
Dundee Pensioners Forum (DPF) representative Dorothy McHugh was given a unique opportunity to highlight the fears and worries of city pensioners in an online meeting yesterday.
Four leading members of the House of Lords – Lord Duncan and Baronesses Jay, Benjamin and Chisholm – asked Dorothy what societal changes could emerge in two to five years’ time as a result of the pandemic.
Dorothy was one of only two people in Scotland invited by Age Scotland to take part in the two-hour session.
“I raised the fears expressed by hundreds of Dundee pensioners over venturing outside the home in the future and how the inevitable rise in the use of technology within health and social care, including the further use of remote GP consultations, will not serve the best interests of older people who need human contact,” she said.
“I also highlighted the issue of digital exclusion. and how many pensioners fear they can’t keep up with what’s happening because of the lack of being able to use technology fully.”
“These are all concerns that have been expressed to DPF by pensioners all over the city.”
The forum also discussed the issue of a breakdown of trust between people and government.
Dorothy added: “The emphasis was on what our lives might look like in two to five years, not on how the pandemic has been handled so far.
“Maybe the Lords would prefer to steer away from that question – or maybe there are already others looking into this. Let’s hope so.”
She added: “The topic was a wee bit up in the air, and I thought it was maybe a missed opportunity to really understand how older people have been and will be affected during this terrible pandemic – and what governments should be doing to resolve these issues
“However, I wasn’t going to miss my chance to say my piece and to try to represent the views of Dundee’s older people in a forum of this nature.”