Sheffield OAP stranded in own home by broken lift

James Ward (88) from Fox Hill who has been waiting for his stair lift to be fixed by Sheffield Council
James Ward (88) from Fox Hill who has been waiting for his stair lift to be fixed by Sheffield Council
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A disabled pensioner claims he has been left imprisoned on the ground floor of his own home after council workers failed to fix his broken stairlift.

James Ward, aged 88, has been forced to bathe using his sink and sleep downstairs since the equipment broke more than eight days ago.

It took three visits from Sheffield Council’s social housing contractors to determine the stairlift needed replacing.

He was told the stairlift would not be fixed until after Christmas – despite being treated as an ‘urgent priority’ by Sheffield Homes Limited.

Neighbours had to move Mr Ward’s bed from the first floor of the home on Edge Well Close, Foxhill, where he lives alone, so he could get a comfortable night’s sleep.

Friend James Hewitt, who visits the pensioner every week, said: “They’ve been out to him three times and now said they can’t repair it, but they won’t replace it before Christmas because they’ve got to get an inspector to come out.

“Apparently it’s an urgent case but it’ll take that long because of the length of the waiting list and they have to send an inspector out.”

Mr Ward is partially-blind and his only daughter lives in Scarborough, so he has relied heavily on the help of others since the stairlift broke.

Mr Hewitt said: “He’s on two sticks. He can’t get to his bathroom or up to bed. I’ve had to come round and do it all.

“The one time he tried to get up the stairs it took him two hours. It’s dangerous – he walks on two sticks.

“He’s got a commode but that’s no way for him to live. He’s an independent man and it’s not fair for him to have to live like that.”

The Star contacted Sheffield Homes Limited and staff promised to send an inspector out to Mr Ward.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to express our sincere apologies to Mr Ward for the problems he has been experiencing. Unfortunately Mr Ward’s stairlift cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced.

“We have visited Mr Ward again and offered him assistance in his home or alternative temporary accommodation until the new stairlift can be fitted.

“We are making every effort to have the new stairlift installed within the next two weeks.”