A woman living in constant pain has spoken of feeling confined to her home after she was refused a ramp for her mobility scooter.
Valerie Still was recently diagnosed with chronic rheumatic condition Fibromyalgia after suffering years of excruciating pain.
The condition leaves her with brain fog, double vision, dizziness and makes her legs feel like they are “on fire”.
The 50-year-old booked an appointment with a council occupational therapist in the hope she could benefit from some disability aids to help her cope.
She was provided with a seat for the shower and a stool to help her wash her dishes.
But Valerie, who lives in Kemnay, was refused a concrete ramp to replace the steps leading to her front door for her mobility scooter.
‘I’ve already had three falls coming down the steps’
The mother-of-three said: “I don’t get out without an aid, the steps are not ideal.
“I’ve already had three falls coming down the steps with my rollater walker. I’m not out very much.
“There’s a chunky step at the front door and another four steps down to the pavement.
“I phoned for aids, I needed a shower stool and a stool for the kitchen so I could sit and do my dishes, and a frame for the toilet, she provided all that but she couldn’t provide ramps.
“She said if you don’t have a wheelchair in the house, or outside, you don’t get ramps.
“With the condition I have, walking gets harder and harder. I’m mostly in my bed to be honest, I’m often bed-ridden with the pain. I would like to get out, I would like to go and see my mum and dad who live in Kemnay.
“I hardly see my mum and dad, it’s too far for me to go.”
Mobility scooter is stuck inside her home
Valerie first started experiencing pains in her feet after her son was born in 1989. The condition has gradually worsened over the years and now affects her whole body.
She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition with no cure. The symptoms resemble those of arthritis, but fibromyalgia affects the soft tissue rather than joints.
Valerie can only walk a distance of around 20 metres before she needs to sit down and take a rest.
Simple tasks such as taking her bin along the path can often be challenging.
She bought a mobility scooter earlier this year, but it is now stuck inside her home most of the time because she has no way of getting it out.
She added: “I got it this year. I can’t get it out it’s just sitting in my living room.
“With the restrictions lifted, now is the time to get my scooter out and get a bit of freedom. Walking outside is just a no go and the scooter would get me from A to B.
“The steps are bad but in winter they are even worse.”
Valerie has now appealed the council’s decision in the hope that she can eventually get a concrete ramp built in front of her home.
She added: “It would be great if they would make it disabled access friendly.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “While we will consider works to improve access to the houses in Valerie Still’s area, it does require the work to be prioritised along with other important elements of work.
“In addition, as mobility scooters can be purchased directly by the public, they can’t be assessed by an occupational health professional in the same way as wheelchairs are.”