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Senior feels 'trapped' in home by steep, narrow wheelchair ramp

Posted at 5:02 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 19:56:55-05

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DENVER — An 87-year-old woman says she feels “trapped” in her own home after the wheelchair ramp she had built out her front door by a handyman is too steep and too narrow.

“I’m stuck inside,” April Cloe told Denver7.

Cloe broke her hip after a recent fall, and required a full hip replacement. She now needs a walker to get around.

“We met a handyman who said he could build a ramp,” she said.

That handyman built the concrete ramp with wooden railings two months ago, charged Cloe $1,000, and disappeared.

“I can’t get out without help because the ramp is too steep,” she told Denver7.

“It’s too steep and she can’t turn around with the walker to lock her door,” her daughter, Tara, added.

Contact7 measured the pitch of the ramp to be nearly double the angle that is recommended by the Americans With Disabilities Act. The railings also make it too narrow for a walker to turn around. Because of it, the senior says she has barely left her house so far in 2020, adding the only way she can is with help from her daughter who isn’t always available to come by.

“I have to have someone holding the front of the walker,” Cloe described. “I’m scared going down.”

The process to slowly walk with her down the ramp while guiding the walker, then go back up and close and lock the doors takes several minutes. It’s impossible for her to do by herself.

“She can’t even come out and sit on her chair or sit on her walker because she cant get out of the house,” Tara said.

That same struggle is also the case trying to walk up the ramp and get into the house.

“I wish someone would please help her. She doesn’t have any money to get it fixed,” Tara explained.

“Just some help,” Cloe quietly asked for.

Denver7 has reached out to a nonprofit that builds handicapped-accessible ramps and will follow up.