Disabled woman refused a ramp

Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short with the new steps she keeps on falling down.
Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short with the new steps she keeps on falling down.

A disabled woman says she is a prisoner in her own home because she is too frightened to tackle the steps.

Christine Short said she has fallen so many times on the steps, which are at the back and front of her Simonside bungalow, that she now has panic attacks when she had to venture out.

Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short with the new steps she keeps on falling down.

Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short with the new steps she keeps on falling down.

The 54-year-old, who suffers from a number of health complaints, including arthritis in her spine and lymphedema, said she has ended up in hospital twice due to falling on the steps and has tripped a number of other times.

She says South Tyneside Homes, which manages the Monkton Avenue property in South Shields, are refusing to put a ramp up to the property because she does not use a wheelchair.

However, Christine, who lives alone with her pet dog, said she walks with crutches and sometimes a walking frame and managing the steps, which were put in place about five years ago, is too much for her now.

She said: “The first time I fell, I split my leg open and needed to go to hospital.

I start getting panic attacks when I have to go out

Christine Short

“The last time I fell, about five weeks ago, I was left with my face black and blue. My chin was all cut and my leg was cut and became infected, I still have a scar.”

Christine said she has contacted South Tyneside Homes on several occasions and nothing has been done about it.

She said when she moved into the bungalow about seven years ago there was just one step up into the property which was fine.

Christine said: “I had been out for the day and came back and saw the new steps, I thought I had the wrong house because no-one had told me anything about it.

Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short - the new steps she keeps on falling down.

Monkton Avenue resident Christine Short - the new steps she keeps on falling down.

“When I go to the door I just freeze because I am frightened to go down. I start getting panic attacks when I have to go out and its because of the steps.

“My depression is also really bad because of being cooped up the house all the time.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Ms Short will shortly be visited by an occupational therapist who will carry out an assessment to evaluate her needs.

“This information will be fed back to South Tyneside Homes.”