AN MS patient has been left virtually housebound for 18 months as her wait for house adaptations continues.
Iana Gourlay, of Tiverton Road, Basingstoke, has been in a wheelchair since 2014 after her MS condition worsened.
The 46-year-old moved to her bungalow in August 2012 when she was still able to walk.
But since raising her need for property alterations with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC), she has been hit by a number of setbacks, and at one point was unable to leave her home for 38 days due to a lack of a suitable ramp.
“At the time I moved in I was in relapsing and remitting MS so I was walking with sticks and the house was not a problem,” Iana said.
“But it soon became difficult. Now I can’t cook in my kitchen because I can’t reach the cooker and can’t make a meal so I have to use a microwave.
“It’s not independent living and for 38 days last year I couldn’t even get out into my garden because I didn’t have a ramp to get out of the house.
“Imagine if there was a fire, I could be dead.”
After hearing of her difficulties the MS Society offered Iana a grant to fund a temporary ramp.
According to Iana, BDBC advised her to find three quotes for the building work which could total no more than £34,000.
However with central government cuts, the highest amount local authorities are allowed to give to their residents now stands at £30,000.
Iana complied and found another quote of £29,000, yet still the council has not completed the work.
The council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration Cllr Terri Reid said: “The council are committed to helping disabled residents to live independently and safely in their home and has supported 230 residents in the last year to carry out disabled facilities adaptations for which we have also received a high level of satisfaction.
“We have also committed significant funding in response to increasing demand for the next three years.”
Although Iana is still waiting for adaptations to her kitchen, bathroom and hallways, the MS Society is trying to help.
MS Society executive director of services said: “MS is complex and unpredictable, but access to the right support, including home adaptations, can make a world of difference in helping someone within MS live a fulfilling and independent life.”
Iana added: “If you are not a wheelchair user, you just do not understand how much stress it causes.
“I am always cracking my hands and elbows on the sides of the wall, it’s not an easy task to get around.
“The adaptations are there to make me become independent and not have to rely on anyone else.
“I just want my house to be fixed so I can get everything back on the right track.”