Seniors Feel ‘Trapped' After Several Elevator Outages at Dallas Facility

Residents at the Waterford at Goldmark senior living facility in Dallas said the elevator keeps breaking down.

"This is not a convenience. This is a necessity. It scares me to think about going down the stairs," said Catherine Marr.

She and her neighbors told NBC 5 Responds Samantha Chatman that some seniors have even been trapped in this elevator for hours.

Others like Cindy Carson, who has osteoarthritis and scoliosis, said they haven't left the house in weeks.

"I can't get down the stairs. If it weren't for my friend making trips for me, I'd be out of insulin," she said.

Since August of last year, Dallas Fire Rescue has responded to 14 elevator emergency calls at this facility.

Rosalie Stepp said she and others have asked for a permanent fix, but were told a new elevator would leave them without service for 3-5 months, so the repairs have to suffice.

"There are people here who do not have access to the outside world. I'm concerned about the safety of people here who cannot go down the stairs," Stepp explained.

So, NBC 5 Responds went down to the leasing office to speak with the property manager, but was told they could not speak with the media.

They referred me to Quest Asset Management, the company that oversees the building, and the executive vice president responded.

He told NBC 5 they were made aware of the problem nearly 10 days ago.

But Stepp said that's not true at all.

"I started writing letters last fall, asking for help, offering help," she said.  "I have been to the office so many times that when they see me coming, they want to go the other way."

The company told NBC 5 they've maintained their elevators per code for many years.

However, the VP said "We cannot predict all problems. When they occur we have to rely on the contractor. We have no control of how long it takes to make repairs."

The company said staff even offered to relocate residents who were unable to use the stairs.

But the women NBC 5 spoke with said they were never given that option, ever.

"Nobody's bothered to come by and check and say, 'are you doing okay? You need anything?'" Carson said.

But a day after NBC 5 reached out, the ladies said they received a notice from the building:  "As of yesterday afternoon, the elevator in building one is fully operational. You can now use the elevator."

"It's like, y'all were here yesterday, by yesterday evening it was fixed," said Carson. "I couldn't believe it."

It's a relief for several residents here at this senior living facility who didn't just want the elevator fixed, they needed it.

"I’m so grateful to you guys," Stepp said.

The seniors told NBC 5 they're happy it's fixed, but said this has happened before.

They said "the elevator goes out, gets fixed, and then goes out again."

But if that happens, NBC 5 Responds will be here to make sure they don't feel stranded and alone.

Under the Department of Justice's ADA regulations, elevators for those with disabilities must be maintained in operable working condition, but there are exceptions for temporary interruptions due to maintenance and repairs.

But under this act, facilities are obligated to make sure repairs are done promptly and properly.

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