I’m a wheelchair user and trapped in my house, I haven’t seen my friends in years

A father has been trapped in his own home and claims the council refused to build a ramp from his front door to the sidewalk.

Alexander French, 54, lives in a tenement in Edinburgh with a steep step between the front door and the ground outside.

Alexander from Edinburgh is stuck inside after being left without a ramp


Alexander from Edinburgh is stuck inside after being left without a rampPhoto credit: Media Scotland

He started using an electric wheelchair after fibromyalgia prevented him from walking.

The father feels like a “prisoner” in his home as he cannot leave the building without the help of his wife or son, reports Edinburgh Live.

Without the money to pay for a ramp himself, Alex is trapped indoors and unable to socialize or exercise.

He’s even fallen off his chair twice while attempting to scale curbs in his neighborhood.

He said: “I am a wheelchair user and live in a ground floor flat in north Edinburgh.

“I recently contacted City Council to request a wheelchair ramp and was told I would need an NHS issued wheelchair, but I use an electric wheelchair as I don’t have the strength to push a manual chair.

“I received an NHS chair a couple of weeks ago and again contacted City Council and was told I was given the wrong information and I am not entitled to have a ramp installed as I own my home.

“I’m unable to pay for a ramp and so I can’t leave the house unless my son or wife is home, but both work during the day and can’t help.”

He added: “We have owned our house for 20 years but all the other apartments belong to the council and it is a main stair door.

“I have fibromyalgia and diabetes that cause complications. I have a power wheelchair because I don’t have the strength in my upper arms for a manual chair.

“I’ve been using the wheelchair for years, my son used to come here and built me ​​a ramp so I could go out of the house by myself, but it’s not there anymore.

“My son is now 29 and he’s on the road all the time, he needs his own life, it’s not fair of me to rely on him leaving the house.

“I used to go to different groups throughout the week to meet and socialize with people, but now I can’t. As there are no lowered curbs in the area, I often have to use the road and my wheelchair is not roadworthy.

“I fell out of my wheelchair twice, once trying to get onto a curb and another time because garbage cans were in the way and I had to try to avoid them.

“I am stuck in my house Monday through Thursday because my son is now volunteering and my wife is working. My best friend lives just down the road and he’s in a wheelchair too, but I haven’t seen him in years because I can’t leave the house.

“It’s been my life for years.”

The situation takes a drastic toll on his mental health and prevents him from going to doctor’s appointments alone.

A spokesman for the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership told Edinburgh Live: “We can assure that where our occupational therapy services are in place, assessment decisions are always aimed at ensuring the right level of support and rehabilitation whilst maximizing individual independence as much as possible based on personal ability and circumstances.

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“Additionally, we work with individuals to connect them to broader community services and groups that can further enable and support overall well-being.”

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https://www.thesun.ie/money/10406239/wheelchair-user-trapped-in-home-edinburgh/ I’m a wheelchair user and trapped in my house, I haven’t seen my friends in years

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