A 72-year-old veteran has seen his own bedroom for the first time in seven months, after living solely in the ground floor of his Bradford home.
Dennis Ward, who has lived in his Wibsey house with wife Val for 23 years, had been confined to just one room since February this year, while waiting for a social services assessment. Appalled by his situation, which was highlighted by the Veteran’s Association UK, Steeton firm Acorn Stairlifts got in touch.
Dennis, who served in the Royal Marines for ten years before becoming a Bradford firefighter, said: “I’d been living in a 4 x 3m space for seven months and hadn’t been able to use a proper shower or toilet in that time. Surviving only with strip washes and a commode and having no freedom to go upstairs was really getting me down: I was fed up.
“We even had to remove our beautiful settee to make space for a bed downstairs, so my wife Val began researching ways to help. We were even considering getting a loan to pay for a stairlift and changes to the house such as installing grab bars. It was then she came across the Veteran’s Association UK and spoke to Tony Hayes who immediately set us on the right course for receiving help.”
Tony said: “Part of our mission is to help veterans and their families, including arranging stairlifts or wetrooms for disabled or elderly people. Mr Ward’s situation, which unfortunately is not unique, caught the attention of many kind people and companies wanting to assist, including Acorn Stairlifts.”
As a gesture of goodwill to the veteran, Acorn assessed the Wards’ property and installed a stairlift less than a week from initial contact.
Dennis, who rode up and down on the stairlift at least a dozen times upon installation, said: “It’s a complete godsend, I can’t stop poking my head into the bedroom upstairs as it’s such a novelty to see it!
“I’ve been married to my wife for fifty-two years and we make a good team, she’s a strong woman and looks after all my medicinal needs and appointments so having the stairlift installed has been the biggest relief for her too. I’m so grateful we’ve been able to stay in our own home – we live in such a wonderful community with helpful neigbours, neither of us could bear the thought of moving. I can’t thank Acorn Stairlifts and the Veteran’s Association enough. I’m living in a different world and life is now super.”
Simon Webster, marketing manager at Acorn Stairlifts, said: “We’re more than happy to have donated a stairlift to Dennis, knowing what a difference it has already made to his life. It is unfortunate that his situation isn’t unique but we’re pleased to have worked with Tony Hayes as his team is doing great work in supporting our country’s veterans.”