As Chicago deals with the arctic cold, concerned Granddaughter, Shuronda Turner, tells the Chicago Defender she is worried about her grandmother, who lives in the Senior Suites Assisted Living facility in Gage Park.
Her 85-year-old grandmother has been without heat for over a week, she says. “She’s a cancer survivor, a diabetic, and has high blood pressure. Turner says. She says after repeated calls to the facility, attempts to repair the heat have been slow. The Senior Suites facility told Turner they needed approval to use an outside facility to fix the heat. In the meantime, they provided her grandmother with a space heater. Her grandmother has also used her stove to heat her apartment. Using a space heater and stove in a studio-sized apartment caused Turner distress about her grandmother’s safety.
“My grandmother has a limp leg, making it difficult for her to get up and downstairs. That’s the only reason we haven’t moved her to our home”, Turner said. “What is our last resort? , It’s Saturday and we couldn’t call the Department of Aging or 311. What are we supposed to do? Just let her sit in the apartment and continue to be cold?” Turner says her grandmother’s entire check pays her rent at the Senior Suites, and the lack of heat is unacceptable.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult for her family to see her grandmother or check on her. On days when Turner and her siblings want to bring groceries or necessities to her grandmother, it isn’t easy. They have to leave groceries at the front desk, and the staff takes them upstairs. “There’s no front desk staff at the facility on the weekends, so sometimes we just wait until someone can take her groceries to her,” Turner says.
Turner said she is prepared to take her grandmother to a hotel until the heat is repaired, but her grandmother prefers not to leave the home she is familiar with.
As of the time of this publication, Senior Suites has not responded to the Chicago Defender’s request for information.
Interim Managing Editor Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living on the Southside of Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.