The initiative to "Clap for Carers" to show appreciation for the work done by front-line workers is not an obligation. 90-year-old Gerald Rex became the victim of a neighbourhood bully who felt it was their obligation to shame the elderly gentleman for not clapping on Thursday evenings. His distraught son took to Facebook to share how his father did not understand what was going on due to dementia.

Gerald lives alone in Stevenage after his wife, Barbara, passed away recently. On Sunday night, someone left a nasty note in Gerald's letterbox. The letter had the message: "Your wife belonged to a stupid religion but end of days relied on NHS but you didn't clap for them. HYPOCRITES."

Gerald's son, Christopher Rex-Hobbs, shared an image of the note on Facebook with a caption explaining how cruel the note was towards his father. Christopher stated that his father has been trying to cope with the loss of his wife, whom he had been with for 70 years.

On top of the grief of losing his partner, the elderly man suffers from dementia. He has trouble understanding the current situation caused by the novel coronavirus and what the virus is. He also has mobility issues, restricting him from going out to join the weekly initiative.

Christopher also shared that his mother, who was a Jehovah's Witness, was at a care home when she became unwell. He also shared that the National Health Service did play a key role in her care and the family is grateful for the service of the health care workers. The unhappy man hopes that people came up to him to discuss the reason behind his father's actions instead of targeting him like this.

Following the note, the elderly man has been worried about being targeted while alone. His family members visit to get him essentials once a week, leaving him vulnerable the rest of the week. Christopher installed closed-circuit television cameras on the property for safety, the Daily Mail reported.

Elderly man with dementia shamed for not clapping for carers. (representational image) Getty