Sick wee girl needs suitable home

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The parents of a four-year-old Fraserburgh girl with Rett Syndrom fear for the future because their house is unsuited to her needs.

They say Aberdeenshire Council has failed to recognise the space required for the bulky equipment needed for Kelsie to continue to live at home.

Kelsie’s home in St Andrew’s Drive is a housing association property, but the association does not have anything else suitable for her.

Although Kelsie is almost five she is unable to communicate, has limited movement, requires hoists to be lifted, and needs a wheelchair. In addition she is incontinent.

She has to be carried up and down stairs to her bedroom and for a bath. This causes major problems as mum, Shaunie, is pregnant and her carer dad, Jason, who has a back problem.

Some eight months ago Aberdeenshire Council offered Kelsie’s parents a two-bedroomed bungalow, which they turned down because there was insufficient space for the bulky equipment Kelsie needs to survive - with more due.

Parents Shaunie Stuart and Jason Heath explained this need for space but did not feel they were being listened to.

When the bungalow was refused the couple say it was as if they vanished from the council’s waiting list.

There is a limit to what carers can do to help as there is no ramp at the house and they won’t lift Kelsie’s wheelchair. The family is even afraid that their dwelling will be deemed unsuitable for Kelsie who may be taken into residential care.

Aberdeenshire Council said “We have tremendous sympathy for the family. Housing officers and occupational therapists are working together to find suitable accommodation. The family were offered a home which we agreed to make adaptations to, but they declined the offer. They are still on the waiting list and should a suitable home become available we will contact them.

“We have around 13,000 housing stock in Aberdeenshire with a turnover of 1200 homes a year. This means it can be difficult to find homes when people have specific needs and require a specific location, however we are always willing to discuss options.

“We continue to work with partners to increase the number of affordable houses and housing options across Aberdeenshire.”