Penticton Western News letter to the editor

Letter: When the elevator is down, who you gonna call?

Wheelchair-bound resident has trouble finding help when elevator in residence is out of order

My husband is temporarily in an electric wheelchair after complications with hip replacement surgery. On June 26, Rick was at an appointment at the physio department at the Penticton Regional Hospital when, at 3 p.m., the elevator in our residence broke down.

Technicians were unable to restart the elevator that afternoon, making it impossible for him to access our fourth-floor apartment as he is unable to stand or walk at this time.

As it was getting late in the day, I frantically tried to rectify the situation. A call to the non-emergency line for the fire department resulted in finding out that this situation didn’t fall into their jurisdiction. I left a message at Interior Health to see if I could find him a temporary bed in one of their care homes but it was not returned. I could not find a telephone number for emergency social services to inquire as I knew they assist people displaced by fire or flood but hoped they might be able to help.

Long story short, I tried the local motels along Lakeshore Drive to see if they had a room available that would accommodate a disabled person. No luck. Thankfully, the Lakeside Resort was able to provide a wheelchair-accessible room for Rick that night at a cost of $273.70.

Things were tense the next day as the elevator technicians continued to try and repair the elevator. Our thanks to Nathalie Snyder, assistant general manager at the Lakeside, for her compassion in extending Rick’s check-out time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 27, to allow him to have somewhere to stay while we waited to see if the elevator could be repaired.

The good news is that the elevator was repaired by 2 p.m. that day and Rick was able to return home safely. Is there anyone out there who knows who to contact if this ever happens again? Thank you for your time.

Helen Vallee


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