Portchester woman pleas for help after being stuck in front room for years

A WOMAN who has been confined to her living room for nearly four years wants to see her home improved so she can become independent again.

Monday, 23rd October 2017, 7:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:03 pm
Sheila Evenden who is severely disabled is hoping that her home in Portchester can be made more accommodating for her to live in Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Sheila Evenden has a series of health problems meaning she cannot move without help from her husband, Colin.

The 54-year-old, who cannot even move from her bed to the sofa without help, wants the downstairs of her house to be open-plan and wants to buy an electric wheelchair so she can move on her own.

But she cannot afford the works and said she has received no help from charities when she asked.

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‘My front room is my life,’ said Sheila, from Portchester.

‘We can’t have visitors round because the front room is like my bedroom and there is nowhere else for them to go.

‘I haven’t had a proper bath or shower for nearly four years and I rely on my husband and the carers for everything.

‘I used to be a fantastic cook but now I can’t even get in the kitchen, it is really upsetting. I used to garden too but I haven’t sat in our garden for almost three years.

‘My husband Colin is my rock and does everything for me and around the house.

‘He has to work though and although I get visits from carers during the day, I cannot do anything without them.

‘I want to be able to help and be the person I used to be.’

Sheila’s problems started when she was hit by a car while working 13 years ago.

The injuries have caused early-onset osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, Ehlos-Danlos Syndrome and fibromyalgia and in the last four years her condition has worsened. She also suffers from depression.

The couple, who both served in the Royal Navy, went to charities for help but they said before the downstairs could be changed, they would have to pay for an architect to draw up the plans.

Mum-of-three Sheila added: ‘That would have cost us a couple of thousand pounds and we cannot afford it.

‘I want to be able to move around my own home and cook for my husband but I can’t.

‘I don’t know what else to do and it is really upsetting that this is my life now.’

As well as the house becoming open-plan, Sheila would like to see a downstairs washroom created and her kitchen made disabled-friendly.

She said the improvements would not only benefit her, but Colin too.

‘I am scared for his health and the toll it is taking on him,’ she said.

‘I try to cover up how I am feeling by smiling but I am scared for my future.’