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Disabled man forced to sleep downstairs at his mum’s house

dean lee sitting on his bed
dean lee sitting on his bed Image credit: leicestermercury.co.uk

Dean Lee is stranded downstairs at his 80-year-old mum’s house in West Knighton, Leicester after his motor neurone has deteriorated to an extent where he can longer use the stairs.

His lack of mobility now means he is sleeping in the kitchen until a £50,000 extension is built on the house.

Lee, 58, has asked Leicester City Council for financial help, they have offered to install a lift but it’s not appropriate for him.

He told Leicestershire Live: "I feel let down and abandoned by Leicester City Council.

"On the council website it states that grants up to £30,000 are available. A social worker came from the council to assess my living needs.

"She said that because I live in a three bedroom house, I would not be entitled to a disability grant to build an extension. So no money.

"They won't fit a stairlift to allow me access to my bedroom as they think I'm unable to get on and off a stairlift safely. A fair comment given my mobility issues.

"The social worker then stated that me sleeping in the kitchen is a health and safety issue due fire regulations.

"So I'm sleeping in what they consider an unsafe environment but they offer no solution to my problem."

Lee’s legs are weakening and not having a bedroom is taking its toll on his wellbeing, he has even admitted to taking his own life.

"I've been sleeping in the kitchen for over a month now and I feel my mental health is suffering,” he said.

"I am having suicidal thoughts as I feel more of a burden on people and a loss of sense of worth.

"I have worked all my life, paid my way and tried to help people when I could. This counts for nothing, as when I need help I'm left feeling as if I'm not relevant."

The prospect sleeping in the kitchen for the next decade has been on his mind since he was no longer able to walk up the stair.

He said: "Some motor neurone disease sufferers live 10 years or more.

"The thought of spending the next 10 years sleeping in the kitchen - well, no wonder I feel the way I do."

Dean turned down the council’s offer to install a lift because he believes his mother’s house isn’t big enough.

A Leicester city council spokesperson said: "Our priority is to find a solution that will allow Mr Lee to live safely and independently, as quickly as possible.

"Following our visit in February, we offered to install a through-floor lift in the property which would give Mr Lee access to the three bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. Unfortunately, this offer was declined.

"We are, however, continuing to work with Mr Lee and his mother to discuss his options and further assess his needs.

"We would like to reassure Mr Lee, and anyone else in a similar position that reduced life expectancy is not a barrier to getting home modifications carried out – indeed, work would often be prioritised in these cases."

Dean Lee has launched a fundraising page so he can raise enough money to install an extension.