Disabled St Albans pensioner’s misery over ongoing stairlift need

AN IMMOBILE pensioner from St Albans who spends hours trying to climb the stairs is in desperate need of a lift.

Arthur Bushby, 77, of Rodney Avenue, suffers from both heart and lung problems and because it takes him nearly two hours to ascend the stairs in his two-storey house, he spends most of his day stuck on the ground floor.

Mr Bushby, who lives alone, said that he has been asking St Albans district council to install a stairlift for over a year: “I can’t count how many times I’ve asked, and even my local MP Anne Main has put in a request for me. But the council doesn’t seem to want to listen and I just don’t know what to do anymore.”

He added: “When I first applied for a stairlift a year ago, they told me that I was living in too large a house and that I should think about moving out.

“But I have been living here for 50 years and have many fond memories of my late wife here. I did all the double glazing too, and I just want to die somewhere where I feel happy.”

Wheelchair-bound Mr Bushby, who most recently complained to the council a couple of weeks ago, said that he has also given up on previous requests for a ramp outside his house, which would enable him to venture outside more often.

Head of housing at the council Karen Dragovic said that she could not comment on individual cases.

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She added: “The council receives lots of applications on behalf of tenants who have mobility issues to adapt to their properties. When these applications are received they have to be processed and assessed according to council policy. In some cases, they also have to be means tested.”

“The council is keen to explore all possible avenues of potential funding and this can take some time.

“Where there are more comprehensive adaptation works to be carried out, such as the installation of a stair-lift, ramp and level access shower, it can take up to five months.”