Elderly Scots couple haven't used toilet or shower for two years after council snub

A man who worked tirelessly for others has been unable to have a shower or use a proper toilet for more than 18 months.

Colin Wilson, 76, suffers from arthritis in his knees and dementia, and is trapped in his upstairs flat but the stairs leading to the only bathroom are too dangerous for carers to help him down.

His wife, Patricia, 69, who has her own health issues so is unable to help, is begging North Ayrshire Council to rehouse them as Colin’s deteriorating mobility has become even more urgent.

Colin, who was the manager of Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Irvine and an unemployed workers centre, dedicated his working life to help people fight injustice.

Patricia said: “He has vascular dementia.

“He can’t write any more, he shuffles and he can’t speak properly. He is a shadow of his former self.”

The design of his flat in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, means it is impossible for him to get to the bathroom and he has to rely on using a commode and being washed by carers.

Patricia said: “Colin has no quality of life. I’d just love to be able to take him out in his wheelchair and for him to be able to have a shower.

“Colin has the highest number of points possible for a housing move. All we want is a downstairs property with a walk-in shower.

“Being trapped in the flat is affecting his mental health but every time I go to the council, I get the same answer, ‘There is nothing available for him’.

“Even the carers have sent photos of the stairs to the social work manager but nothing happens. I would like to try to help him but our stairs are ridiculous. If one fell, we would all go.

“I don’t know how long Colin has left. I fear he will die before he ever goes outside again.”

Local SNP councillor Jean McClung, whose party control North Ayrshire Council, admitted the system was long overdue an overhaul. She said: “My heart goes out to Colin and Patricia.

“I have done my very best to get them rehoused, however, I am up against an allocation system which, in my view, is not fit for purpose.

“Ever since I joined the council seven years ago, I have never been able to understand how the system works.

“I don’t understand how the points are allocated but it seems as if the system is treating people as points not individuals. There needs to be a degree of common sense.

“I am in the dark to why Colin and Patricia have not been rehoused because in the seven years I have been a councillor, I have not come across anyone whose circumstances seem to be as dire as theirs.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokeswoman said: “We generally don’t comment on individual circumstances but we do of course sympathise with Mr and Mrs Wilson’s situation and can confirm that relevant council officers are in regular contact with them to provide support.”

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