Plea for a downstairs bathroom at the home of a disabled Gorefield couple
- Credit: Archant
A disabled couple pleaded for a downstairs bathroom at their housing association home after months of struggling to get upstairs.
Keith and Tanya Jakes suffer serious problems which mean Tanya, who has muscular dystrophy, is wheelchair bound and has problems with her eyesight.
She sleeps in the living room to make life slightly easier but trips to the bathroom are like a military operation.
Keith, who walks on crutches because of problems with his hips and knees, said: “Tanya has to get to the stair lift on her electric wheelchair then struggle in as she cannot put weight on her legs.
“Once at the top of the stairs she has to transfer herself into a wheelchair and get another eight feet to the bathroom. It is all such hard work just to go to the toilet.
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“We have asked Roddons for help but we ended up calling our local councillor as it felt like we weren’t being listened to.”
The couple live at their Gorefield home with their three teenage children - two boys aged 10 and 16 and a 14 year old daughter - where, following intervention by their councillor Alan Lay, Roddons have widened doorways and created a step for the pair so they can get in and out of the home.
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But the upstairs bathroom issue is now making life desperately difficult, they say.
The couple have tried bidding for a new home under the housing association process but say there are none with four bedrooms suitable for disabled.
Councillor Lay said: “I have contacted Roddons and am awaiting an answer.
“Tanya can’t put weight on her legs, the husband struggles to walk. They need help. If Tanya were to slip at the top of the stairs while transferring from stair lift to wheelchair she would be seriously injured.
“I have asked for architects to look at the property to add another room on the ground floor to serve as a bedroom and bathroom.”
Sue Stavers, head of housing services for Circle Housing Roddons said: “We have made a number of alterations to Mr and Mrs Jakes’ home after they moved in just over a year ago, to ensure it is more suitable for their needs.
“Mr and Mrs Jakes are on Fenland District Council’s housing register for a new home, which unfortunately means they are not eligible for any grant funding for additional works at their current address.
“Should Mr and Mrs Jakes wish to stay in their current home, an occupational therapist would carry out an assessment and we could then consider carrying out adaptations to the bathroom and kitchen.”