The New Malden care home riddled with bed bugs
The daughter of a resident living in a care home in New Malden has expressed her fears for her mother’s life – as her residential care home has become infested with bed bugs.
The 89-year-old resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been living at Gilpin House for 15 years.
Gilpin House is a retirement accommodation maintained by Kingston Council – which, according to the daughter of this resident, became riddled with the bugs back in February.
Since the issue began, the resident’s daughter says her mum has had to dispose of “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 that it “understands the distress it is causing” to residents.
It added that further pest control treatment was taking place on December 16, following a pest control visit to the home on November 24.
The daughter of the suffering resident told newsquest south London: “My mum has had to pay three times for private pest controllers, £250 each time.
“She has thrown out two beds, three sofas and three chairs and had to pay it all herself.
“The council have done nothing and now, six other flats are known to have bed bugs.
“The entire building shares two washing machines, and there must be at least 50 people living there.
As the resident suffers with cellulitis, her daughter says she is unable to walk without support or care.
The daughter explained that her mother’s “legs have become stiff” because of the water retention that has built up which she claims is a result of being bitten by the bed bugs.
She added: “My mum has cellulitis in her legs, and they’re now infected because she has been bitten by bed bugs.
“She has to take water tablets and elevate her legs to stop swelling, but because the chairs have been thrown out due to the infestation, she is unable to move, and her legs have become stiff.
“She rang me at 6am last week and told me she was scared to stand up because her legs were so sore, and she was afraid she would fall.
“The conditions are diabolical, and I’m frightened of what might happen to her.”
Her daughter told newsquest south London that her mother is becoming “badly ill” and conditions are becoming “too much for her”.
She explained: “Although my mum has been through a lot – like losing five of her children, she was never ill or taking anti-depressants.
“Now, because of the conditions, her doctor has prescribed her anti-depressants.
“She is getting so badly ill – it’s too much for her.
“This is a life threatening situation, and she needs to get out of there for good.
“No one can go inside the room because it is so badly infested with bugs, and they jump on you.
“It is physically hurting her because she is itching and scratching all of the time and it’s mentally hurting her because she is wondering where the bugs are constantly.
“My mum can’t walk unaided but the shared bathroom is downstairs, but she is physically unable to use the shower or bath without help.
“We used to have carers wash her on the bed, but now that is not happening because of the bed bugs.”
On December 16, the daughter said that Kingston Council removed her mum and placed her in a guest room at a different sheltered accommodation.
She explained that her mother has been reported to be on a “bidding system” for new housing.
The daughter said: “The pest controllers arrived at my mums (on December 16) to spray the flats with a bug killer.
“They refused to spray my mum’s room as her belongings were still inside the flat.
“If she removed her furniture, she would have had to wait nine hours to go back inside her room – as the chemicals are dangerous.
“They have now managed to put my mum in a guest room at another sheltered accommodation for the time being.”
A Kingston Council spokesperson said: “We are taking this situation very seriously and understand the distress it is causing to residents.
“Work has been carried out to identify all affected areas of the property and treatment by a qualified pest control contractor took place on 24 November.
“A further treatment will take place on Thursday 16 December.
“The Council’s sheltered housing team will be present at all treatments to support residents and ensure access is gained to all areas affected, and all recommendations are followed up.”