Elderly stroke victim forced to sleep in daughter’s living room

Margaret Jefferies pictured with her daughter Christine and granddaughter Charmaine. DER4714-101KM
Margaret Jefferies pictured with her daughter Christine and granddaughter Charmaine. DER4714-101KM

A Derry woman has been forced to live in her daughter’s living room after her own flat was deemed unsuitable for her after she had a severe stroke earlier this year.

Margaret Jeffries, (63) suffered a stroke in February this year but due to the severe nature of the stroke her mobility was significantly affected.

Margaret needs a walking frame when moving about indoors and she now must use a wheelchair when going outside.

Margaret’s flat, which is in Galliagh Park, is no longer suitable and Occupational Therapist (OT) visited the flat as recent last week to reiterate that it was not suitable for Margaret to live in.

Margaret has been living in her daughter’s living room for the last few months.

“I really am at my wits end,” said Margaret’s daughter Christine.

“I have been in contact with the Housing Executive so many times but they tell me that they have given mum all of the points they can give her.

“Mum is not able to return to the flat in Galliagh Park so she has been sleeping in my living room.

“I have three children of my own and my daughter is expecting a baby - it’s very stressful.

“All I want is a safe place for mum to stay. Her rehabilitation has stopped because the OT can’t do anything with her until she is in her new home.

“I see other people getting houses and I think it’s perfectly logical for me to ask why my mother isn’t getting a house.

“We are not talking about a normal case here. My mum was sick and was in hospital for a long time - she needs a place suitable to her needs.”

Christine went on to say that she had been contact with both the DUP and the SDLP, both of which were unable to help her.

“I really don’t know where to turn anymore - I feel like I have been abandoned by the system.

“We are not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. Mum’s flat is no longer suitable anymore and she needs somewhere to live.

“I know the Housing Executive have a job to do but I am at my wits end - I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” she added.

When contacted by the Derry Journal, a spokesperson for the Housing Executive said they have been “actively seeking more appropriate accommodation” for Margaret.

“Since we were made aware of Mrs Jeffries situation we have been actively seeking more appropriate accommodation for her.

“Mrs Jeffries’ areas of choice are extremely popular and this combined with limited suitable accommodation (ie two-bed bungalows) means the waiting list is lengthy.

“We have advised Mrs Jeffries and her family of this and we will continue to examine all avenues to help resolve her accommodation need.

“We would encourage Mrs Jeffries and her family to keep in contact with us and to also consider other areas to live where the opportunity to move to a suitable property is greater,” the spokesperson said.