Elderly woman muted from the outside world
An elderly Auckland woman has lost her life line and is feeling disconnected from the outside world.
Jean Sandiford lives in Meadowbank and her landline has not been working for lengthy periods of time.
On three separate occasions the 87-year-old has been unable to use her phone, connected by providers Vodafone and Chorus.
From May 23 it was out of action for a week and on July 9 for a further four days. The latest incident has seen it cut off again since July 13.
‘‘I can’t see the end coming, this is the worst thing that could go on for days, weeks or months.’’
Sandiford, who pays her phone bill on time, says she has felt depressed and extremely isolated without the connection.
‘‘For a person of my age group, it’s my way of keeping in touch with the world,’’ she says.
Her daughter Linda Holmes has been concerned for her mother’s wellbeing.
‘‘If she did have a problem she wouldn’t be able to ring me,’ she says.
‘‘You can’t leave an elderly person who lives at home by themselves and relies on their phone without one for weeks, it’s not safe,’’ Holmes says.
Sandiford also has a St John’s medical alarm connected to her landline which would be affected by the phone disconnection, St John national head of Telecare Nick Coley says.
Holmes contacted both Vodafone and Chorus who applied temporary fixes, however the phone has still not worked.
The phone was connected for a day, which happened to be her birthday, and Sandiford cried tears of joy to only then have it disconnected later that evening.
Chorus’ media spokesperson, Steve Pettigrew says Chorus would like to apologise to Sandiford and her family for the problems she has been experiencing.
‘‘We do recognise how important a landline phone remains for many people and for Sandiford to be without her phone service for so many days is simply unacceptable.’’
Pettigrew says Chorus is working hard to resolve this problem. ‘‘It appears to be the result of water causing corrosion damage in one of our larger copper cables in the area.’’
Vodafone says it will work alongside Chorus to look in to compensating Sandiford.
Jean Sandiford has been left isolated after her landline stopped working on May 23.