An OAP campaigner has urged locals not to forget about older people in their community this Christmas.
It comes after the Bishop of Paisley called for a 24-hour circuit breaker to allow families to spend the day together off the back of warnings of a “digital Christmas” from health bosses.
Dorothy McHugh, of Dundee Pensioner’s Forum said the options of a circuit breaker or a digital Christmas each had pros and cons but said that no matter what happens this year she hopes older communities are not forgotten about.
She said: “I am horrified at the thought of a digital Christmas, however, older people are particularly vulnerable so there has to be that balance between health and the socialisation.
“I do think the 24-hour break is a good idea but we also want to protect those in our communities too. Is it worth possibly infecting someone for the one day of celebrations.
“The problem I see with a digital Christmas is the fact that a lot of people are just not digital and would have no idea how to join a Zoom call. They say that over 40% of older people do not know how to use these type of technology.
“Because of that I would definitely suggest people pick up the telephone and call loved ones or even give a knock at the door and stand at the garden gate for a few minutes. It is amazing what just a few minutes of interaction can do.
“I am also aware that places which hold Christmas dinners for those on their own won’t be happening this year which is a worrying thought, so if you know of someone down the road who is maybe by themselves there is no harm in chucking a few extra potatoes in and sharing some of the turkey with them too.”
Bishop Keenan, who also serves as the vice-president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said strict restrictions on Christmas gatherings ran “the risk of destroying all hope” and that although “great care” would have to be taken to protect the vulnerable and the elderly, there is also a higher risk of “emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness at what should be the happiest time of year”.
National clinical director Jason Leitch had previously warned people to prepare for a “digital Christmas” due to the spiralling cases of Covid-19 in Scotland.
He has since said he hoped there could be “some kind of family Christmas”.