Cheer up the elderly with a Christmas visit, urges Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond with help from Santa Claus. Picture: Jane Barlow
Alex Salmond with help from Santa Claus. Picture: Jane Barlow
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THE First Minister is urging people to visit older relatives or check on elderly neighbours over Christmas.

Alex Salmond made the call as he visited a day centre in Edinburgh where he handed out gifts and chatted to older people yesterday.

A charity has highlighted the fact that as many as 10,000 over-75s in Scotland say they will spend Christmas Day alone this year. Speaking at Lifecare’s Dean Club in Stockbridge, which provides services including lunch clubs, Mr Salmond appealed to everyone to offer some company to older people.

“Centres like this do a great job. Folk can come for a chat, a blether, something to eat, outings, the whole works. But maybe each and every one of us could do something this festive season. An estimated 10,000 people will be on their own this Christmas and if we all just dedicated ourselves to see just one person over and above the family, then we could make a big difference.”

Research by WRVS charity reveals that for 11 per cent of older people in Scotland, their nearest child lives more than an hour’s drive away.