Residents of a private Laval seniors’ home have been unable to get off their respective floors for at least three weeks because the sole elevator in the building is broken.

Résidence Laval Ouest is a private facility just east of the Mille-Îles River. The elevator is not operational because the repair company is waiting on a part.

The niece of one resident spoke to CBC Daybreak on the condition of anonymity in order to protect her aunt’s identity.

The niece said seniors living in the five-floor facility now eat all their meals alone in their rooms as a consequence of the broken elevator. She also said residents are now unable to go outside to get some fresh air and enjoy the nice weather because they don’t even have balconies.

She said the lack of socializing and participating in activities and exercise has caused her aunt to become depressed.

“When you’re a senior citizen, if you don’t exercise and you don’t have activity, your body changes quite rapidly compared to a young person,” said the niece.

The niece also said this is the second incident of a broken elevator since May. She said a similar situation happened for two weeks between May 18 and June 3.

Residents can't socialize

The company that owns and operates the home, Gestion LRM, said management has taken a number of steps to make sure the residents’ quality of life is not too badly impacted while the elevator gets repaired.

Company president Robert Runstlenger said more staff was hired and that staff were working overtime to make sure the seniors were well taken care of. He also said each floor had activities so that residents could socialize without having to go down on to the main floor.

However, the resident’s niece who spoke to Daybreak said there is more room for improvement. She said the residence should have two elevators so that at least one is always operational.

She said the company should compensate the residents for the inconvenience, who she said pay quite a lot to live in the private facility. The company's website says activities, gardens and leisure rooms are among the perks the residence offers.  

Runstlenger said no one has asked for compensation so far, but that the company has offered to waive moving fees if residents decide to leave.