Elderly Eastbourne residents stranded after door entry system vandalised

Marilyn Carter a resident at the sheltered housing in Jephson Close, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Marilyn Carter a resident at the sheltered housing in Jephson Close, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Elderly and vulnerable residents have been left without means of being visited by their carers after vandals struck at their sheltered accommodation.

The community doorbell so vital to people living in Jephson Close, Meads, has been left out of order for weeks after being badly damaged.

Resident Don Maurice, 76, said, “I’m chair bound, I can’t stand or walk. One of our residents has a carer come three times a day, they can’t get in.

“My other half has given our home phone out so she can go and answer the door. But if she happens to be out, if someone comes they can’t come in because I can’t go to the door.

“We feel very vulnerable here, the majority of residents are elderly, one has extreme dementia and is partially blind. There’s only one main entrance and all the door bells are gone.”

Mr Maurice says he and his partner reported the problem to housing association Stonewater repeatedly.

He said, “Nothing has happened. We have sent emails, they say there’s nothing they can do.

“I have a carer come four times a week and have a key safe outside fortunately.

“And the emergency lighting on the first and second floors has been out for nine days. What happens if an elderly lady falls down the stairs?

“None of it seems to make a difference. We were told on Thursday [October 5] that it was an emergency call and an electrician will be there by 2pm. No one came. There’s exposed electrical wiring hanging out the wall.

“My other half is up and down all day letting people in. She’s being told to act as a care taker for the next week.

“I haven’t had an apology, or a phone call. They seem to be more interested in making profits rather than the residents. I think they have lost sight of the people paying them.”

A spokesperson for Stonewater said, “We apologise for the inconvenience and frustration that this has caused our residents at Jephson Close in Eastbourne.

“We have recently installed new fire equipment as part of a wider safety measure programme being undertaken at Stonewater. This subsequently caused an issue with the communal lighting – we are on track to provide temporary lighting to the upper floor corridors whilst we work to fix this permanently.

“We are working with our contractors to restore the door entry system as soon as possible.”