A Dundee OAP, who was forced to have his leg amputated on New Year’s Day, claims he has been trapped in his home for the past six months because he lives on the second-floor.
Tam Anderson, who turns 80 next month, lives alone and earlier this year his health went drastically downhill and had to have his leg removed to save his life.
Since then Mr Anderson has been battling to get himself re-housed elsewhere because he currently lives upstairs and has to be carried up and down 30 steps any time he wants to leave.
He said: “It’s been awful. I’m a prisoner in my own home because it’s impossible for me to get out.”
“I’m now confined to a wheelchair and rely on my friends to carry me down all 30 stairs.
“I’ve only been out three times since I left hospital in April. This is wearing me down and I’m getting really depressed.
“In the lovely summer days people used to come in and tell me how nice it was and it just broke my heart.”
Mr Anderson said his situation has been made even worse because the shower cabinet is impossible for him to get into as it has such a high step up.
He said: “I haven’t had a shower for six months. I’m having to wash myself all over with a face cloth.
“I’ve been asking the council for months to rehouse me somewhere more suitable.
“Because of my disability now I really need a flat on the ground floor.
“I have all the points I need to make me a top priority but still they can’t seem to find me anything.”
Mr Anderson said he had been offered a flat in Fintry but it was too far away from his family.
He said: “I know there are a couple of suitable flats very close to where I stay just now and also very close to my daughter who comes in to look after me.
“These flats have been empty for ages but for some reason, they won’t offer them to me.”
His son Steven said his dad’s difficulties began on Hogmanay.
Steven said: “I was driving taxis and so my phone was switched off because I was busy with fares all night.
“On the morning of New Year’s Day I discovered I had seven missed calls from the hospital.
“Dad was rushed to hospital in an ambulance on Hogmanay and they told him he had to get his leg off to save his life due to blood clots.
“He had to sign the consent form that night and his leg was amputated.”
Steven said his dad was eventually moved from Ninewells to the Royal Victoria before he was discharged earlier than normal due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
He added: “Dad still has infection in his leg several months on.
“He is also trapped in his home because he has so many stairs to climb and it is almost impossible to get him out.
“Dad has also developed a lot of sores because he is just sitting all day long because he can’t get out and because he can’t get a shower.
“He is desperate for something to get done and to get re-housed somewhere much more suitable for his disabilities.”
Dorothy McHugh, secretary of Dundee Pensioners Forum, said: “It is extremely disturbing to hear of any older person living under such difficult circumstances.
“What is happening in our society when anyone considers this to be an acceptable standard of living for a 79 year old man who has recently undergone an amputation – never mind his overall quality of life? ”
“Where is the ‘person centred’ care we hear so much about? Health and social care partnerships were formed to provide wrap-around care in just such cases.
“What sort of care package was put in place that discharged someone in these circumstances, back into completely unsuitable housing? ”
Dorothy said Mr Anderson’s story was particularly distressing because of the “disastrous decisions” taken earlier in the pandemic which it is claimed led to the deaths of a number of older people.
She added: “Mr Anderson’s story does not inspire us with confidence. Thank goodness he has family support – but his family, in turn, need be supported to care for him.
“In Dundee’s Year of the Older Person, is this really the best we can do?”
Dundee City Council has been approached for comment.