ELDERLY residents have become prisoners in their own homes because of a lift that has been broken for THREE months.

There is a total of 35 flats at the privately-owned retirement apartment block, at Sandringham Court, in Hadleigh, with several of them on the second floor.

The lift, which many of the residents rely on, became faulty back in April 10 and has continued to break down up until the present day.

Residents, some of which are well into their nineties, have been forced to stay inside or use the stairs.

The daughter of one of the residents who is 93-years-old told the Echo she is increasingly worried that her mother will have a fatal accident by using the stairs daily.

The 61-year-old, said: "My mum has lived here for ten years and takes her life in her hands every time she goes up and down those stairs.

"She is in her nineties but still active. She goes out to clubs twice a week and goes up to Morrisons to do her shopping every Saturday and she holds on very tightly as she's going up and down the stairs but it still makes me very worried.

"She had a heart attack recently as well.

"I work, but on my days off I will try and get round there just to take her up and down the stairs because I am worried every time she goes out.

"I really wouldn't want her to fall and go out that way as she has made it to her nineties.

"It's a joke really, its just been going on for so long. There is even a man in a wheelchair who can't get out."

After the first fault in April, residents had to wait several weeks for the management company, First Port, to obtain quotes for repairs.

The hydraulic system had to be ordered from Italy which took two weeks, then it was discovered that the fly wheel was broken which also had to be re-ordered from Italy, taking another two weeks.

On June 7, residents were told the lift would finally be getting fixed, which it was. But by that evening it broke again and hasn't worked for longer than a day at a time.

The 61-year-old added: "Mum was okay at first and understanding but now it is driving her mad. It's just got ridiculous.

"They all went to a meeting today and have been told they need another new part which again, no one knows how long that is going to take.

"Mum is very angry about it."

Another resident, who didn't want to be named, said: "First Port had two quotes for £7,000 and then £4,000 and they went for the cheaper one because they said both companies were offering the same product - I think it was express lifts they went for.

"Then the fly wheel was another £1,500. The lift is Italian so the parts have to come from them which has been causing a huge delay. They even lost the part at the airport before.

"I've had to use the stairs daily - to go down for my post, to take the rubbish outside, and come up the stairs with shopping which is not easy although the manager here has been helping, she is only part time here in the mornings."

A spokesperson for First Port, said: “We apologise for the continued disruption caused by mechanical issues with the lift at Sandringham Court.

"Our regional development team met with residents again this morning to discuss the situation and explain the proposed solutions.

"The lift service provider is currently on site and appreciates the residents’ frustration at the disruption to the lift service.

"Whilst the technicians work on the lift our on site development manager is helping residents who need assistance to the second floor and doing anything they can to minimise the inconvenience.”