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After 8 months, senior tenants in West Kootenay manor finally have a working elevator

The old elevator broke down in mid-February, stranding many in their second and third floor flats
The new Waneta Manor elevator is already making a positive change in the health and well-being of tenant John Blizard. Photo: Sheri Regnier

Eight months of discontent for tenants at Waneta Manor has finally come to an end since the building’s much-needed elevator is up and running again.

Actually it’s a new lift that took several months to order, install, and get provincially inspected before staff at Tribe/Gateway property management was ultimately given the go-ahead to unlock the new elevator to manor residents, most of whom are longtime senior residents.

Many on the second and third floors have been stuck in their homes since mid-February when the old elevator broke down. They’ve been at the mercy of families, friends and first responders to get basic necessities packed up the flights of stairs or themselves transported to and from the hospital — sometimes on a stretcher — when health emergencies came up.

For John Blizard, a working elevator means he can once again roll to the lift with his walker and descend from his second floor apartment to the basement where he can finally get into his car on his own, and drive to the aquatic centre for a swim and exercise.

“I’ve been doing it again for a week now,” John told the Trail Times. “Going to the pool helps so much. I’ve gone three times now, and it’s already making a world of difference in how I feel.”

Besides getting to the pool to help with joint pain and mobility problems, John is also once again independent in shopping for his own groceries and sundries.

“It’s great being able to get out and do things for myself again,” he said with a big smile.

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Sheri Regnier

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