Ex-miner in bath trouble

John Cook in the bathroom of his Houghton home wher he has problems using his new bath.
John Cook in the bathroom of his Houghton home wher he has problems using his new bath.
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AN elderly ex-miner has been left itching from “head to toe” after bathing problems took their toll.

John Cook, 87, lives in a Durham Aged Miners’ Home Association property and recently has developed a skin condition which means he needs regular treatment.

Previously he would ease his discomfort by soaking in his old bath lying down.

He is now unable to do this as the sides of the new bath are too high for him to get in and out.

The ex-miner, who worked at Houghton Colliery, said: “They put a deeper bath in and took the other one out.

“I’m 87 and cannot get out of the new one so I cannot wash myself.

“I have a skin complaint and so I have to apply an ointment to help it by lying flat in the bath but I’m unable to do that any more.

“The itchiness is bad enough to wake me up during the night and it hurts from head to toe.

“I’m not happy at all and really want them to do something about it.”

Mr Cook, who was born just outside Durham, has lived with the association for more than 20 years.

The husband of Mr Cook’s niece, Jonathan Jones, said: “He can’t use his bath any more in his old miners’ home.

“He has a skin condition which means he has to apply ointment and he used to dissolve it into his bath. The new one they installed doesn’t allow him to get into it because the sides are too high.

“Nothing has been done and he’s not getting the treatment he needs which means his condition is getting worse.

“He’s also had heart surgery so he struggles to get around which means getting in and out of the bath is quite difficult for him.

“He’s an ex-miner so he’s done his time and I think he would getting some basic entitlements.

“At the moment he is having to wash himself in the sink. He’s thinking about going to a local old people’s home to get a bath but he shouldn’t have to do that.”

The Durham Aged Miners Homes Association declined to comment when asked about Mr Cook’s situation.

Twitter: @tomwhite7