The daughter of a resident living in sheltered housing in New Malden has expressed fears for her mother’s life – as her room has become infested with bedbugs.
The 89-year-old resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has lived at Gilpin House for 15 years.
Gilpin House is a retirement home run by the Kingston council – which this resident’s daughter said was riddled with bugs in February.
Since the problem began, the resident’s daughter says her mother had to have “two beds, three sofas and three chairs” and “pay three times for private pest controllers.”
Kingston council said it is taking the situation “very seriously” and “understands the distress it is causing” to residents.
He added that another pest control treatment was taking place on December 16, following a pest control visit to the house on November 24.
The ailing resident’s daughter told Newsquest South London: ‘My mother had to pay three times for private pest controllers, Â£ 250 each time.
âShe threw in two beds, three sofas and three chairs and had to pay for everything herself.
âThe council did nothing and now six other apartments are known to have bedbugs.
“The whole building shares two washing machines, and there must be at least 50 people living there.”
As the resident suffers from cellulitis, her daughter says she is unable to walk without support and care.
The daughter explained that her “mother’s legs got stiff” from the water retention that had built up which she said was the result of a bedbug bite.
She added: âMy mother has cellulitis in her legs and they are now infected because she was bitten by bedbugs.
âShe has to take water tablets and elevate her legs to stop the swelling, but because the chairs have been thrown out due to the infestation, she is unable to move and her legs have become stiff.
âShe called me at 6 am last week and told me that she was afraid to get up because her legs were aching so badly and she was afraid of falling.
âThe conditions are devilish and I’m afraid of what could happen to him.
Her daughter told Newsquest South London her mother was falling “seriously ill” and conditions were “too difficult for her”.
She explained, âAlthough my mother has been through a lot – like losing five of her children, she has never been sick or taken on antidepressants.
âNow, due to the conditions, her doctor has prescribed antidepressants for her.
âShe’s getting so seriously ill – it’s too much for her.
âThis is a life threatening situation, and she has to get out of it for good.
“Nobody can enter the room because it is very infested with insects and they jump on you.
âIt hurts her physically because she is itchy and scratched all the time and it hurts her mentally because she constantly wonders where the bugs are.
âMy mother cannot walk without assistance, but the shared bathroom is downstairs, but she is physically unable to use the shower or the bath without assistance.
âBefore, caregivers used to wash her on the bed, but now that doesn’t happen because of bedbugs.
“This is not a reflection on caregivers, it is a reflection on the Council.”
On December 16, the girl said Kingston council removed her mother and placed her in a spare bedroom in other sheltered accommodation.
She explained that her mother would be on a “bidding system” for a new home.
The daughter said, âThe pest controllers came to my mothers’ house (December 16) to spray the apartments with an insect killer.
âThey refused to spray my mother’s room because her things were still inside the apartment.
âIf she removed her furniture, she would have had to wait nine hours to get back to her room because chemicals are dangerous.
“They have now managed to put my mother in a spare bedroom in another sheltered accommodation for the time being.”
A spokesperson for Kingston Council said: âWe take this situation very seriously and understand the distress it is causing to residents.
âWork was done to identify all affected areas of the property and treatment by a qualified pest control contractor took place on November 24.
âAnother treatment will take place on Thursday, December 16.
“The Council’s sheltered housing team will be present at all treatments to support residents and ensure access to all affected areas, and all recommendations are being followed.”