Family cramped in March flat with terminally ill grandmother, 83, and one-year-old child are desperate to be re-homed
- Credit: HARRY RUTTER
Four generations of the same family including a terminally ill grandmother and one-year-old child are cramped in a first floor flat in March despite pleas to be re-homed.
The desperate situation of Caroline Dove, 55, who lives with her 83-year-old mother Gertrude - who has advanced lung cancer and dementia- son Kyle, 21, and his baby Dennis, is almost at breaking point.
The first floor flat in Badgeney Road sees Caroline sleep on a pull out bed behind the sofa while Kyle and Dennis share one room and Gertrude is in the other.
Caroline’s worse fears became reality when doctors confirmed that Gertrude didn’t have long left to live and advised that she moved out of her bungalow in Friday Bridge four weeks ago.
She is now on high doses of morphine and Caroline has given up her job as a carer to look after her full-time.
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The family claim that they have contacted housing association Clarion for help on numerous occasions, sending letters from Macmillan Nurses and the hospital.
They say that despite being on a waiting list for a four-bed property; they would be happy to move into a three-bed or at least somewhere more accessible.
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Washing is hung between the landing, while Caroline’s clothes have been bagged up behind the door so that Gertrude’s belongings could be put in the wardrobe.
Baby Dennis’ cot is squeezed up the side of Kyle’s bed and the families two pet dogs eat in the box-sized kitchen.
Mentally, emotionally and physically, the family is struggling.
Caroline, who has lived at the flat for two years, said: “We contacted Clarion to tell them that mum was moving in and hoped that something could be sorted.
“All they say is that it’s difficult to find a four bedroom place and I understand that, so I suggested a three bed place instead, yet it appears they just don’t want to know.
“Quite frankly, I think it is disgusting.”
Ideally, the family would be happy with a ground floor flat with better accessibility for Gertrude.
Time is precious as the family don’t know how many weeks they have left with their beloved grandmother.
“Everyday we don’t know what is to come,” Caroline said.
“We want her to have the best quality of life and at the minute we have to virtually carry her down the stairs when she wants to go out and visit my dad’s grave.
“All we can do is keep calling Clarion to stress our situation to them.”
Caroline’s daughter, Rebecca Ward, who lives around the corner, contacted the Cambs Times to raise awareness of the family’s predicament.
She said: “My nan is 83 and cannot get down the stairs and there is no fire escape.
“Mum gave up her room because we felt she needed privacy. It gets so cramped up here and we just need help yet we feel we aren’t being listened too.”
A spokesperson for Clarion said: “We are aware of the household’s current situation and have been providing advice.
“Four bedroom properties become available very rarely and when they do, they are allocated to whoever on the waiting list is in the highest need.
“As previously advised, an emergency assessment can be completed if medical evidence is provided, which could impact priority.
“Other housing options have been provided, we will continue to work with the household to find a solution.”