Elderly residents are ‘virtual prisoners’ for three weeks after lift breaks down in Falkirk flats

The lift to the even floors in Parkfoot Court, Falkirk has been out of action for three weeks already causing problems for elderly residents.  Pic: Michael Gillen.
The lift to the even floors in Parkfoot Court, Falkirk has been out of action for three weeks already causing problems for elderly residents. Pic: Michael Gillen.

Some elderly residents have been ‘virtual prisoners’ in their own homes for three weeks after a lift broke down in a block of flats.

And it looks like their wait for repairs to be carried out are set to continue for at least another week.

The lift to the even floors in Parkfoot Court has been out of use since April 12.

Despite numerous phone calls to Falkirk Council from residents and their families, work to repair the lift has not yet been carried out.

Jan Millar, whose 86-year-old mum Helen Dougan lives on the 10th floor, said: “Many of the residents are elderly people who rely on the lift for access.

“My mother is managing to get out, but to do so she has to walk one floor down to get the lift downstairs and on her way in she goes one floor up to the 11th and walks back down a floor.

“It’s two flights of stairs she has to walk down between floors and she’s sometimes unsteady on her feet. It’s worrying in case she has a fall.

“But there are some people who haven’t been able to get out at all as they cannot walk to another floor to use the lift.

“I have been in touch with the council three times to express my concerns, but they are now saying it will be another week at least before the lift is fixed.”

While Charlie Brown, whose father-in-law William Coltman (93) lives on the 12th floor, said: “My father-in-law cannot walk up or down stairs due to many health problems and is on strict orders from his GP not to even attempt to do so. He has been a virtual prisoner in his flat for all of this time.

“The council were contacted the day the lift broke and residents were told it would be up and running again in half an hour.

“They were then told it would be fixed by the following Friday, but that came and went and it wasn’t done.

“I’m told the part has been sourced but it will be at least another week before the repairs are done.

“The contractors doing the work have been less than forthcoming with information and they are not keeping the residents, or it seems the council, informed of what’s happening.

“Only today (Tuesday) have steps been taken to apologise for the delay by putting a notice on the lift.”

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “We have been trying to resolve this situation for some time and apologise for any inconvenience to residents.

“Our specialist contractor has identified the problem but there has been a delay in receiving parts which unfortunately haven’t been in stock.

“We hope to have the lift operational by the end of the week and will continue to offer support and assistance to residents.”