June 19, 2015 6:22 pm
Updated: June 19, 2015 8:10 pm

Seniors forced to climb stairs due to lengthy elevator repair


WATCH ABOVE: Seniors in a north Edmonton apartment building say they are confined to their homes because the elevator hasn’t been working for two months. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON – Residents of an Edmonton seniors home and their families are frustrated with the length of time it’s taking to fix the elevator in the building.

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The elevator at Romanian House, located at 134 Avenue and 97 Street, has been out-of-service since April 17. The repair work was supposed to take five weeks, but nine weeks later the elevator is still not operating.

Vera Scherger lives on the top floor of the six-storey building. The 80-year-old has a lung and heart condition that requires her to be on oxygen. She says the 86-stair climb from the ground floor to her suite is simply too hard.

“It’s tough,” Scherger said. “You’re breathing pretty heavy by the time you get up to the top … You gotta stop every floor. I’ve done it a couple of times but that’s all.”

In the past nine weeks Scherger has only left her apartment twice.

“You’re confined to this one place. You can’t get out, you can’t go anywhere.”

She’s not the only resident feeling a bit isolated. Vic Schmidt, 68, also lives on the sixth floor and has trouble with the stairs.

“It’s been horrible having to walk up. I have to stop every flight.”

Schmidt had heart surgery three weeks ago. On Wednesday night paramedics and fire crews were called to the seniors facility to assist him.

“I fell short of breath and I got dizzy and everything. And they said that stair-climbing is not for me right now,” he explained Friday.

“They said, ‘Maybe you should find some place else to go.’ But I’ve got no place else to go.”

Another issue faced by residents living on the lower floors of the building is the sixth-floor laundry room. One resident’s daughter says she takes her 80-year-old father’s laundry home and does it herself because he can’t make the climb to the top floor.

“These poor seniors don’t deserve to be treated like this. They’re stuck in their suites and that’s not fair,” said Cindy Husband.

The building manager says the province set up the elevator repair contract. A spokesperson with the management company tells Global News the job should be done by next week.

But residents and their families say they’ve heard that story before, and they just want their freedom back.

“Everyday we’re told, ‘Well, it’ll be this week, this week, this week,” said Schmidt.

“I think everybody in this building here is getting frustrated,” added Scherger.

A new management company is taking over the building on July 1.

With files from Slav Kornik, Kendra Slugoski, Global News. 


© 2015 Shaw Media

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