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Help pours in for B.C. seniors trapped by broken elevator, but no quick fix coming – BC

Seniors living in a West End apartment tower with a broken elevator say that while they’re finally getting some help, many remain essentially trapped in their unit.

The only elevator in the nine-storey Gordon Fahrni House broke down on June 22 and likely won’t be repaired for weeks as management waits for a replacement part.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver seniors stuck with no elevator'

Vancouver seniors stuck with no elevator

Many of the building’s residents have mobility challenges, like 88-year-old Florence Rogers who uses a walker and can’t use the stairs.

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Rogers told Global News Wednesday that she hasn’t been outside in two weeks. Frustrated with the situation, she recently tried to go down to the laundry room by herself.

“I tried going down (the stairs) on my behind, but I got stuck, I couldn’t do it,” she said.

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“Luckily one of the fellows from further up came down and helped me down and back up again, I couldn’t move … and I couldn’t carry the bag and slide along the wall and hold onto the bar too.”

Since Global News first reported the building’s woes last week, there have been some improvements.

BC Hydro delivered and installed 19 free air conditioning units following an urgent request from West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert’s office.

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The Vancouver Fire Department has inspected the building and performed individual welfare checks on residents.

And the West End Seniors Network reached out and has been providing a number of services.

Click to play video: 'Portland Hotel residents demand elevator fix'

Portland Hotel residents demand elevator fix

Eighth-floor resident Don Walker, who has lung cancer, credited the media attention for the help.

“(It) just blew everything up,” he said.

But residents are still primarily relying on one another, Walker said, with able-bodied neighbours doing the heavy lifting.

“If you need anything they will go get it … some people are doing their laundry, other people aren’t bothering. Somebody else will do it for you if required.”

What hasn’t changed at the building is the state of the elevator.

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Brightside Community Homes, the non-profit society that operates the 55-year-old building, says delivery on the needed part is still two-to-four weeks away. Installation when it arrives, should only take a day.

Rogers said many are running out of patience.

“Get that elevator fixed as soon as possible because it is making life difficult for everyone,” she said.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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