Lift nightmare leaves pensioners ‘trapped’ in their homes

Broken lift in Walstead Court, Crawley.
Pat Hart wth other resdents. SUS-170606-083809008
Broken lift in Walstead Court, Crawley. Pat Hart wth other resdents. SUS-170606-083809008

Elderly residents say they have been ‘trapped’ in their homes for more than a week after a lift broke down at a block of flats.

People living at Walstead Court, in Crawley, became ‘imprisoned’ in their homes after both the lift and stairlift broke on Friday, May 26.

Pat Hart, 76, who lives in the block, said she was one of only a few residents who could get down from her home without using the lifts.

She said: “This is the second time in just over two months this has happened.

“There are two lovely people on the top floor, they are 98, husband and wife, and they are trapped in their flat and they are absolutely desperate to get out in the sunshine.

“It’s not fair on those people.”

The block is extra care accommodation, owned by Housing & Care 21.

It spans several floors and allows elderly people to live independently whilst also offering services including a restaurant, communal lounge and laundry room.

Pat said meals were being brought up to residents who could not get to the restaurant but feared people were becoming isolated.

“People have been trapped in this building since Friday (May 26) meaning all over the Bank Holiday they have not been able to get down for lunches. It’s a nightmare,” she said.

“They are sitting alone whereas they socialise if they come into the dining room.”

Terry Brown, who helps look after one of the residents, called on Housing & Care 21 to put people in hotels .

He said they were in danger while the lifts were not working as they could not get up or down the stairs in emergencies.

He said: “These people are worried about their safety. They can’t get up and down the stairs.

“The residents here are very upset by it all. They are paying their rentand for their care, and they are not getting it.”

Housing & Care 21 said the company was offering extra support while the lifts were out of action.

A spokesman said: “We understand the residents’ concerns and frustrations and are working with our contractors to try and get the lift and stairlift fixed as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, we are providing extra support to the residents at Walstead Court and will keep them informed of progress with the repairs.”

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