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Frail pensioner is a virtual prisoner

PUBLISHED: 14:25 16 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

A FRAIL Ipswich pensioner has been left a virtual prisoner in his third floor flat because of a backlog in Social Services.

Percy Taylor, 76, who lost one of his arms when he was eight years old said he has found it increasingly difficult to cope alone in the past year.

A FRAIL Ipswich pensioner has been left a virtual prisoner in his third floor flat because of a backlog in Social Services.

Percy Taylor, 76, who lost one of his arms when he was eight years old said he has found it increasingly difficult to cope alone in the past year.

He has arthritis in his legs and it can take him up to 15 minutes to climb the three flights of stairs to his council flat in St Matthews House where he has lived for more than 20 years.

Despite contacting Ipswich Borough Council in March to change to a ground floor flat, Mr Taylor said little progress has been made.

But a spokesman for the council said their hands are tied until Social Services carry out an assessment and send them their report.

Following a phone call by the Evening Star an occupational therapist has now made an appointment to assess Mr Taylor next week but it is still not clear how long it will take to move him.

Because of Mr Taylor's disability, trying to use a walking stick and carry shopping at the same time has become an impossiblity.

A well known face around the town he now barely goes out if he can help it and it is clear as he hobbles precariously around his flat that he should no longer be living there.

Once a proud and independent man, Mr Taylor struggled to admit that he needed some help.

He first contacted the council for a change of accommodation in March but as his circumstances slowly get worse he is still struggling on alone.

He said: "Someone did come round to see me and was very surprised that I was living there alone and said that it wouldn't be for much longer – she said it was disgraceful.

"I filled out all the forms and they said someone would come round but I have not heard from them for a long time (since July)."

As well as wanting to change to a ground floor flat, Mr Taylor also desperately needs a home help.

He said: "I used to be able to cook for myself quite a lot at one time but now I can barely hold a kettle.

"I need a home help or to be in sheltered accommodation.

Mr Taylor lost his arm when it was crushed by a steam roller when he was young but has always managed to look after himself.

He said: "It happened to me when I was very young so I did not really know any different.

"I have always been a very proud person and never wanted any help before but I certainly feel humbled now.

"I feel like just giving up sometimes – but I refuse to."

Although Suffolk County Council cannot comment on individual cases, Dave Taylor, social care manager said: "The increasing work load for our occupational therapists means that some people will have to wait longer than others to be seen.

"However, if we hear that someone's needs have changed we will always re-prioritise and see them as soon as possible."

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