Parents, carers and disabled parents
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Our lift has broken down. Help!

We have a 13 year old with CP who is a full-time wheelchair user. We returned back from a weekend away and found our lift to our 4th floor flat broken. Usually Kone can fix this within 24 hours but we were told that the drive unit of the lift is broken and needs a spare part. We own our flat and the block is managed by an agent. We were advised by our agent that any repairs over a certain amount will need to be approved by all the residents. They also need a quote for the part and Kone after 3 days of chasing them have still not produced one.

My husband has had to leave work early to come back when our son is back from school to carry him up the 8 flights of stairs and then going back to work again. It's an hour commute each way and I'm worried about the strain to him, as well as worrying about getting the lift fixed.

Our local authority responded quickly and came today to try a stairclimber but it didn't work as this was deemed really unsafe due to the slats on the staircase coming loose.

We are in a real predicament now because the lift repair could take up to 3 months we've been told.

I have put the feelers out to see if we can hire a strongman to carry our son up the stairs. The other option is to home school him or move out (but where?).

I was wondering if anyone could give some advise or share some experience.? Has something similar happened to you and what solutions did you find?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Replies

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi Mafala,

    How are things now? Did you manage to find any help whilst the lift is out of action?
    I hope it doesn't take as long as 3 months to fix.
    We'd be keen to hear how you are managing now and what you've been doing to get your son out and about. Hopefully Dad isn't still doing the extra journeys to carry him up and down the stairs?
    Did the local authority come back to you with any other options?

    I hope by now the lift is fixed, do let us know how it's all going.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • abstractLucasabstractLucas Member Posts: 78 Connected
    Might be worth talking to your council and asking for (magic words here) "a full and holistic carers assessment as provided for by the Children and Families Act 2014". As well as this, your LA will have a disabled children team of some sort which will include an OT - they might have another idea of how to manage for the time being (though hopefully the lift is working again by now!).
    Lucas
  • mafalamafala Member Posts: 72 Listener
    edited October 2015
    Hi and thank you for your replies. It was an unbelievable stressful time for us. We were told by the management agent Chamonix Estates that it was KONE holding back any decisions because they weren't forwarding a quote. I got so desperate to get things moving that I emailed KONE's CEO in Finland! Within the hour we had the London manager on the phone. They had sent a quote with a time to fix the lift immediately after they came to check it. According to the management agent, the quote was sent to the wrong person who was not working there anymore. That could be true but we got the impression they were waiting to get a cheaper quote for the part from another company. The CEO at KONE instructed the London office to fix the lift for us, no matter what the management company said. It really works going to the top! We had it fixed within 5 days.

    Our local authority acted very swiftly, thanks to my son's OT, and came to try out a stair climber. It was however dangerous to use on our stairs. The only thing they could offer us was respite care, which they knew we wouldn't agree to but that is all they could do for us. The rents in our area are astronomical. I don't know what we would have done had the lift taken 3 months to fix.

    We realise that it was down to a very unhelpful management agent who was not aware (or didn't care about) the huge impact a broken lift has on a family with a disabled person in it.
  • abstractLucasabstractLucas Member Posts: 78 Connected
    I'm so glad it got sorted, but what a shame it was made so difficult! Good for you for taking the initiative and getting things moving.
    L
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    A fabulous outcome! Well done to you and also to the CEO of KONE, I would say that's exceptional customer service and I'm really pleased to hear that it was all fixed within 5 days. It's just a shame that the managing agent wasn't quite so helpful.
    Thanks for letting us know how you got on :)
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