A WORRIED grandson fears a damp problem in his 95-year-old grandma’s Orbit-owned apartment in Leamington is putting her life at risk.
Michael Poole is concerned for his disabled grandma, Pamela Brown, after a bathroom cabinet narrowly missed her when it fell from a damp wall.
He says the damp is a result of a leak in the apartment above – he claims was reported six weeks ago – which was fixed earlier this week.
According to Mr Poole, building owner Orbit Housing Association originally said it could not send anybody to fix the problem until November 15 – more than a month after he contacted them.
Mr Poole said: “The cabinet could have caused serious injury, it’s quite weighty and she’s 95, disabled and blind.
“The walls are so wet the support bars she uses to get on and off the toilet could potentially give way. Where the toilet is, inches from where she sits is the next wall, so she could potentially fall between that and the toilet which she means she’ll be trapped. And if it’s after her carers have gone no one will find her until the next day. It’s also quite a sharp edge so if she hits her head it’s potentially a risk to her life.”
Although nothing in his grandma’s apartment has been repaired as yet, a contractor was sent out to isolate the electrics due to the shaver socket on the bathroom wall. The company later sent a dehumidifier to Ms Brown since it meant the ventilator was unable to run.
Mr Poole added: “There’s no light in the bathroom now so she’s forced to utilise her adult diaper pads. She also has portable commode chair she uses so she’s going to the toilet in her bedroom – not the most hygienic thing.
“I get quite emotional because she’s the only family I have left that I’m in contact with. And she’s had such a hard time with a lot of things in the past. Mentally this is taking a toll on her.”
After weeks of raising his concerns with Orbit, and contacting the Observer, the company confirmed it will be sending a contractor out on November 5 to plaster the bathroom walls and refit the cabinet and support bars.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm our contractors attended on October 20 to isolate the leak at the property and ensure it was safe for occupation, with follow-up works carried out on October 25, while a dehumidifier was supplied to the customer on October 23. Our contractors will be reattending on November 5 to plaster the affected walls and refit the bathroom cabinet and support bars.
“We will continue to liaise with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome of these repairs.”
Mr Poole responded: “Personally I still have to suggest that the whole timescale, even the fifth is still them dragging their heels. I think considering the living conditions, my nan’s mental health and that she feels quite vulnerable, this is still way too long to get sorted.
“It’s disappointing that we must be nearly seven weeks since the initial report was made. Had I not kicked up the fuss that I have, things would’ve been left a lot longer, as well as what I perceive as risk to her life should she have fallen. And worst case, if I had not been so demanding on the phone, the electrical issue could’ve resulted in a fire which risk to life is a lot greater with the amount of people who live in the building.
“I still feel like orbit have responded poorly and this matter should’ve been resolved within five working days.
“She’s going to be without a bathroom again over the weekend. She is still high risk of falling having to use her chair toilet in her bedroom which is not the best for hygiene and could easily topple over.
“Her carers are also having to wheel her to a spare bathroom upstairs in her pyjamas so she can use the shower so there is also an element of cost because they’re spending 30 minutes extra in the morning getting her ready.
“I’m just very sad that no one has reacted to this sooner.”