Vulnerable pensioners are calling for urgent safety improvements at a Highland Council complex where two residents suffered falls blamed on a lack of hand rails.
Tenants at the McLean Court facility in Nairn claim the council has been slow to respond despite a series of letters appealing for help.
They say hand rails on both floors would reassure residents, many of whom suffer from poor mobility.
In the latest incident, last Friday, Alex Skelton, 73, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, fell against a wall while stepping out of the first-floor lift.
He said: “There was nothing to grab.”
He fell against his 75-year-old wife Betty who then slipped, bashing her head on the wall. She needed to be taken by ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to be treated for a head wound and leg tissue damage.
Another resident, Bunty Macarthur, 83, who uses a walking frame, had previously fallen at the main entrance while making her way towards a taxi. Other residents went to her rescue.
That incident highlighted the absence of a handrail at the entrance.
Although one was subsequently fitted by the council, neighbour Li (CORRECT) Young, 70, who has pressed the local authority to do much more, claimed the safety arrangements remained “pretty bad”.
She said: “I’ve had a fall and have got broken bones. I fear another fall because in most parts of the building there’s no hand rail.”
A spokeswoman for the council, which maintains McLean Court, said letters had been answered and a senior maintenance officer has visited the complex.
She said the latest falling incident did not appear to have been reported but was now being investigated.
“At this stage it has not been determined that a hand rail would have helped in the latest incident,” she said.
“The individual needs of the person who fell will need to be assessed by an occupational therapist who may conclude that equipment could be provided to support their mobility.”
She added: “At this time housing (department) have concerns that installing a rail may interfere with mobility aids.”
A separate request, for a short pathway through a grass verge linking the car park and the building, will now be assessed.