My fury as disabled brother of 81 spent two weeks without heating

Gazette: My fury as disabled brother of 81 spent two weeks without heating My fury as disabled brother of 81 spent two weeks without heating

A FURIOUS woman hit out after her elderly brother was left without heating for more than two weeks.

Derek Smith, 81, of Seaview Avenue, in Little Oakley, noticed his heating had stopped working on Sunday, November 24, and immediately reported the fault to Tendring Council, which owns the house.

He was visited by workmen several times, but they were unable to resolve the issue, which involved a broken electric motor.

Mr Smith was forced to boil the kettle when he needed hot water, put a blanket over his legs and use a portable heater to try to stay warm. His sister, Win Brazier, said she was disgusted it took so long to be put right.

Mrs Brazier said: “Originally, he was told it would be fixed the Wednesday or Thursday after the breakdown.

“I think they should be named and shamed because he is 81 and disabled.

“I am furious. It is disgusting.

There are always warnings at this time of year about looking after elderly neighbours, but that does not mean a thing.

“People like us have been working all of our lives, putting money into the system, but we don’t get help when we need it.”

Mr Smith was frustrated the problem took so long to fix. He said: “They told me it was the motor, but they were not able to sort it.

“It would have been easier to take the whole boiler out and replace it than mess around for so long.”

The heating was eventually mended on Tuesday.

Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s member for housing, apologised and said the service Mr Smith received was not acceptable.

Councillor Honeywood said: “At this time of the year, we expect our contractors to resolve such matters within 24 hours and this went on far too long.”

Mr Honeywood added that the council’s housing team would be speaking to the contractors about the delay and would make it clear that this should not happen again.

Comments (10)

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4:06pm Mon 16 Dec 13

The Stinker Returns says...

My elderly mother's boiler was on the blink and British Gas said she needed a whole new boiler. They gave her a quote, took her deposit and then fixed an installation date - for 2 months later (in fact tomorrow, one week before Christmas and one day before guests arrive for a Christmas visit). All that advertised nonsense about being there when you need them. I realise this is the Council but I bet it was BG they were waiting on. Thankfully my mother's curent boiler has been fine. Poor old Mr Smith wasn't so lucky.
My elderly mother's boiler was on the blink and British Gas said she needed a whole new boiler. They gave her a quote, took her deposit and then fixed an installation date - for 2 months later (in fact tomorrow, one week before Christmas and one day before guests arrive for a Christmas visit). All that advertised nonsense about being there when you need them. I realise this is the Council but I bet it was BG they were waiting on. Thankfully my mother's curent boiler has been fine. Poor old Mr Smith wasn't so lucky. The Stinker Returns

4:07pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Reginald47 says...

Didn't you think about maybe lending hima fire for a couple of days or is it easier just to rely on others?
Didn't you think about maybe lending hima fire for a couple of days or is it easier just to rely on others? Reginald47

4:37pm Mon 16 Dec 13

jut1972 says...

Reginald47 wrote:
Didn't you think about maybe lending hima fire for a couple of days or is it easier just to rely on others?
It says he had a heater. Youre deliberately missing the point.
[quote][p][bold]Reginald47[/bold] wrote: Didn't you think about maybe lending hima fire for a couple of days or is it easier just to rely on others?[/p][/quote]It says he had a heater. Youre deliberately missing the point. jut1972

5:33pm Mon 16 Dec 13

wearebeingwatched says...

The Stinker Returns wrote:
My elderly mother's boiler was on the blink and British Gas said she needed a whole new boiler. They gave her a quote, took her deposit and then fixed an installation date - for 2 months later (in fact tomorrow, one week before Christmas and one day before guests arrive for a Christmas visit). All that advertised nonsense about being there when you need them. I realise this is the Council but I bet it was BG they were waiting on. Thankfully my mother's curent boiler has been fine. Poor old Mr Smith wasn't so lucky.
But there is no reason why your mother had to go with BG, she could have easily gone with another contractor, there are plenty of very good ones around that are also considerably cheaper than BG.
[quote][p][bold]The Stinker Returns[/bold] wrote: My elderly mother's boiler was on the blink and British Gas said she needed a whole new boiler. They gave her a quote, took her deposit and then fixed an installation date - for 2 months later (in fact tomorrow, one week before Christmas and one day before guests arrive for a Christmas visit). All that advertised nonsense about being there when you need them. I realise this is the Council but I bet it was BG they were waiting on. Thankfully my mother's curent boiler has been fine. Poor old Mr Smith wasn't so lucky.[/p][/quote]But there is no reason why your mother had to go with BG, she could have easily gone with another contractor, there are plenty of very good ones around that are also considerably cheaper than BG. wearebeingwatched

7:00pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Confusedandangry says...

Or being the clearly loving caring sister she is, why not take him in for a few days?
Or being the clearly loving caring sister she is, why not take him in for a few days? Confusedandangry

9:39pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

So they tried to fix it but could not.

What a whinger.
So they tried to fix it but could not. What a whinger. Jack222

12:50am Tue 17 Dec 13

rhetoric says...

Jack222, if you live to that age you may understand the problems. One feels the same as at 22, mentally, but everything takes longer, cold feels colder, and there is occasionally difficulty in resolving issues with oneself. Other younger people in a position to help being inept and inactive, indecisive and so on does not help.
.
As to Confusedandangry, I suggest some anger management courses. Nasty sarcasm about the sister is an unworthy factor in this thread. What age is the sister, what are her resources, does she herself need some help, has she any spare accommodation. Above all, when over 70 most people want more than anything to be in their own home where things are familiar. Yes, that may seem foolhardy in some circumstances, but it would be more civilised if this country could be geared up to put its effort where its mouth is, and help the elderly in their desire for some self-sufficiency. We're all going in that direction, unless we want to pop our clogs at 60. Too many people have an active phobia about the over-60s, and it's amazing how much prejudice and even hate there is for this group, horrible though that may seem.
Jack222, if you live to that age you may understand the problems. One feels the same as at 22, mentally, but everything takes longer, cold feels colder, and there is occasionally difficulty in resolving issues with oneself. Other younger people in a position to help being inept and inactive, indecisive and so on does not help. . As to Confusedandangry, I suggest some anger management courses. Nasty sarcasm about the sister is an unworthy factor in this thread. What age is the sister, what are her resources, does she herself need some help, has she any spare accommodation. Above all, when over 70 most people want more than anything to be in their own home where things are familiar. Yes, that may seem foolhardy in some circumstances, but it would be more civilised if this country could be geared up to put its effort where its mouth is, and help the elderly in their desire for some self-sufficiency. We're all going in that direction, unless we want to pop our clogs at 60. Too many people have an active phobia about the over-60s, and it's amazing how much prejudice and even hate there is for this group, horrible though that may seem. rhetoric

6:35am Tue 17 Dec 13

trentren says...

A caring sister would have loved and looked after her brother herself if she really cared. She is the one who should hold her head in shame unless of course she is homeless herself.
A caring sister would have loved and looked after her brother herself if she really cared. She is the one who should hold her head in shame unless of course she is homeless herself. trentren

10:33am Tue 17 Dec 13

rhetoric says...

trentren is another one who pitches in, all spite and anger.
.
As I said above, who knows the circumstances and ability of the sister? It is bad enough now that the State relies so hugely on relatives, sometimes older and very tired and poorly themselves, to look after the disabled and sick to such an extent without any help. Sometimes it gets to the point where the carers become the cared-for of the future or even the present because of their run-down condition. Try running around after a much loved relative or partner 24/7 when you are in your 70s and older. Whatever you imagine, however organised the carer and their previous lifestyle, it is unimaginable how exhausting this becomes. One could sleep on a bed of nails after a week or so!
.
The man in the article was actually in his own home, so would trentren suggest that all his disability aids be moved into his sister's place of residence? That would be for a few weeks, then, that walking frame, frame to assist getting out of bed, suitable armchair, maybe stairlift - or if he didn't need one maybe in her home he would - plus many other items would be moved to another place. Then any regular callers such as District Nurse would have to be advised of the temporary change. All this, for the want of a repair on a heater.
.
Get real! Try volunteering to help a disabled person and see what it entails, even with those who have the will to try and help themselves and hate asking for help.
.
How dare you make such a horrible judgement on the sister. At least she cares and is in touch with her brother. You are the type of person who constitutes part of a mob with hysterical intent to harm.
.
I'll bet the sister visited the disabled man herself as much as possible, and that she too had to put up with the cold and inconvenience. She won't, after all, be a spring chicken, will she?
trentren is another one who pitches in, all spite and anger. . As I said above, who knows the circumstances and ability of the sister? It is bad enough now that the State relies so hugely on relatives, sometimes older and very tired and poorly themselves, to look after the disabled and sick to such an extent without any help. Sometimes it gets to the point where the carers become the cared-for of the future or even the present because of their run-down condition. Try running around after a much loved relative or partner 24/7 when you are in your 70s and older. Whatever you imagine, however organised the carer and their previous lifestyle, it is unimaginable how exhausting this becomes. One could sleep on a bed of nails after a week or so! . The man in the article was actually in his own home, so would trentren suggest that all his disability aids be moved into his sister's place of residence? That would be for a few weeks, then, that walking frame, frame to assist getting out of bed, suitable armchair, maybe stairlift - or if he didn't need one maybe in her home he would - plus many other items would be moved to another place. Then any regular callers such as District Nurse would have to be advised of the temporary change. All this, for the want of a repair on a heater. . Get real! Try volunteering to help a disabled person and see what it entails, even with those who have the will to try and help themselves and hate asking for help. . How dare you make such a horrible judgement on the sister. At least she cares and is in touch with her brother. You are the type of person who constitutes part of a mob with hysterical intent to harm. . I'll bet the sister visited the disabled man herself as much as possible, and that she too had to put up with the cold and inconvenience. She won't, after all, be a spring chicken, will she? rhetoric

12:36pm Tue 17 Dec 13

Snowthorne says...

Why is there so much hatred & contempt for the older people from the young, fit & healthy?
Surely they realise that one day this could be them, or are they too confident of their own health & fitness lasting into old age that they do not care about someone less capable than themselves?
Accidents & ill health can hit anyone, anywhere at any age so be careful with your nasty words as you could be the next one in this position!
Why is there so much hatred & contempt for the older people from the young, fit & healthy? Surely they realise that one day this could be them, or are they too confident of their own health & fitness lasting into old age that they do not care about someone less capable than themselves? Accidents & ill health can hit anyone, anywhere at any age so be careful with your nasty words as you could be the next one in this position! Snowthorne

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