Broken lift leaves Barkingside pensioners 'trapped' in flats for four weeks
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2019
Pensioners in Barkingside have been left "prisoners" in their own homes for four weeks as they wait for a broken lift to be repaired, including a chemotherapy patient who was forced to "crawl on hands and knees" up the stairs to get to her flat.
Carole Epstein, 77, contacted the Recorder after waiting four weeks for the lift to be repaired in Elmslie Lodge, Village Way, which is a sheltered housing block.
She said some of her neighbours on the first floor are on crutches and others use oxygen tanks, meaning it's difficult for them to use the stairs to get in and out of their homes.
Another woman, who recently died, was forced to crawl up and down the stairs on her hands and knees after chemotherapy sessions.
Carole, who has lived at The Village for 15 years said: "People can't breathe and they are being made to climb up the stairs. Everybody here is over the age of 55.
"I am trapped in my flat. People are threatening to leave. I don't know what they are mucking about for. They keep saying it's going to be fixed but it's not good enough.
"I can't go in the stair lift at the moment because my leg is in plaster.
"Nobody has offered to do my shopping or anything like that. I'm just lying in my bed.
"I'm feeling very depressed and miserable."
When Carole returned from hospital after an operation last month, the ambulance had to carry her up on a stretcher.
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She has another hospital appointment on Friday (August 23) and she has had to arrange for the ambulance staff to carry her down the stairs again.
Jan Martin, 63, said Anchor Hanover, which manages the building, are usually "wonderful" but they are falling short of standards.
"They are good people and we have a great life here but they are really falling short on this which is such a shame," she said.
"It's a prison for residents - they are prisoners in their own homes.
"The most degrading thing of all was a woman having chemotherapy having to crawl up the stairs on her hands and knees after coming back from sessions. It's disgusting."
Jan has been helping her neighbours carry their shopping and washing up and down the stairs while the lift has been broken.
"I try and help as much as I can," she said. "But this has been going on for a long time - the lift keeps breaking.
"Our life with Anchor is utopia but they are falling short here."
The building's manager said they are working hard to resolve the issue and the lift will be repaired "as soon as possible".
Owusua Koranteng-kumi, district manager for The Village, said: "Our maintenance contractor was immediately informed of the issue and will repair the lift as soon as possible. In the interim a stair lift is being installed today.
"The on-site manager has spoken with all the tenants to see what we can do to support them until the lift is repaired.
"We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused to tenants and are working hard to resolve the issue."