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Seniors at care home ‘stuck’ in their rooms

An elevator at a government-owned nursing home for seniors has been broken since May leaving residents “stuck” in their rooms, it was alleged in Parliament yesterday.

Opposition Senator Renee Ming told the Upper House that the lift was broken at the Sylvia Richardson Care Facility on Old Military Road, St George's, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Seniors.

A ministry spokeswoman said staff are working hard to overcome the situation, helping residents move about the facility without the elevator.

She confirmed the elevator is out of bounds for safety reasons and said the process to fix it has begun.

Ms Ming, a Progressive Labour Party politician, told the Senate: “At the Sylvia Richardson facility, the elevator doesn't work and hasn't worked for some time. So guests, visitors, residents, cannot come down to the social rooms.

“Can you imagine if you had your loved one living there and they are basically stuck in their room, for want of a better word.”

Ms Ming said she believed the elevator broke down in May. “I'm sure that if that was any of our loved ones, we would not like, appreciate or even want to see that outcome. Could you imagine how they must feel, stuck.”

She added that “apparently, they can manually use the elevator and twice a day someone comes and takes needed things up but the residents of the facility can't move and, as a result, one whole floor isn't being used”.

Ms Ming was speaking during a debate on the Throne Speech, during which she lambasted the Government for not doing enough for seniors. In relation to the situation at Sylvia Richardson, she said: “I know we can do better than that.”

The Sylvia Richardson Care Facility houses 43 residents and provides residential, nursing and daycare to seniors. According to the Government's website, residents range from independent to semi-dependent. The manager of the facility referred this newspaper to the Ministry of Health and Seniors for comment.

A ministry spokeswoman said: “The Ministry of Health and Seniors has been working with the elevator contractor to seek a permanent resolution to the elevator fault.

“Lightning strikes incurred during Tropical Storm Karl have prolonged the matter by adding to the complexity of fault finding by the equipment supplier.

“Procurement is now under way for substantial plant replacement and to ensure appropriate expenditure of Government finances.

“Residents were moved from the top floor as a temporary measure and in order to avoid using the elevator on the advice of the Government Safety Coordinator.

“Sylvia Richardson staff have worked hard to overcome this situation and to assure the continued quality of life of residents, with staff assisting residents' regular daily movements through the facility, to the cafeteria and on outings, etc, but without reliance on the elevator.

“Every precaution has been taken to protect staff and residents.

“The ministry and management remain vigilant of the situation and are working to secure a properly procured solution expeditiously.”

PLP Senator Renee Ming

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Published November 17, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated November 16, 2016 at 11:47 pm)

Seniors at care home ‘stuck’ in their rooms

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