A Dundee man has said his disabled son will be “ecstatic” to be able to return to his day centre after weeks of lockdown.
Allan Birrell, 59, lives with his son Chris, 32, who has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.
Normally Chris would go to the White Top day care centre five days a week, but since the coronavirus lockdown, it has been closed.
But now the Scottish Government has confirmed day centres and respite care for adults with disabilities will be reopened as part of phase one of easing the lockdown, which is due to happen on May 28.
Speaking to the Tele, he said: “It has been really difficult.
“I have got a lot of things to do at home with the day centre being closed.
“First thing in the morning I have to get Chris up, washed, changed and do other personal care, and I have to feed him through a tube.
“I also have to give Chris his medicine through his feeding tube because he takes nothing by mouth at all.
“I then need to keep him entertained, which is hard – I’ve just gone online to buy special needs toys which cost £200, which is ridiculous.
“I also have to do physiotherapy with him to make sure he is calm and relaxed.
“He has been getting physiotherapy videos on YouTube which he enjoys listening to, but he misses all the staff at the day centre.”
The day care centre is providing them with calls over Skype three times a week, however, Allan says while this does not offer him the same respite.
Allan said lockdown has had a big impact on Chris and himself, and says he needs the support of the day centre back.
He continued: “I will be so grateful when the centre reopens, I will be really happy because it has been a long haul.
“It will be a lot better for us and I won’t have to worry so much.
“Chris is really looking forward to going back, he will be ecstatic when he sees the bus coming for him again, he won’t know what is happening.
“Chris normally goes to the day centre five days a week and enjoys the therapy pool and gardening, and all his friends are there.
“The day centre staff are very good, they are the best team you could ask for.
“The lockdown has been a big change for me because I am looking after him 24/7 and that has had a knock-on effect with my son as well.
“For most families at the day centre it has had a big impact on their lives.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government added: “While we understand that the physical distancing measures are extremely challenging for some people – including for some disabled people with certain underlying health conditions at risk to Covid-19 – the first minister has been clear that these will not last any longer than absolutely necessary, as guided by the latest available scientific evidence.
“Respite services remain open for emergencies such as a carer being admitted to hospital or where there are other serious breakdowns in care.
“We have published Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, which gives an indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek the change current restrictions and this process pays careful consideration of how we can best support the specific needs of disabled people.
“As we move into phase one, we will begin to see the resumption of key support services at the community level, these include greater direct contact for social work and support services with at risk groups and their families and access to respite or day care to support unpaid carers and for families with a disabled family member.”