By Alicia Roberts

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents in a Bucks County 55+ condo community say some have been left stranded. It happened after management announced their one elevator would be shut down for weeks due to some major upgrades.

One resident called it a necessary evil. The elevators are approaching the end of their 30-year span and need to be replaced, but doing so means cutting off access for many here with mobility challenges.

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“To do this to people that live on second, third, fourth floor, it’s terrible,” one woman said.

Residents of Centennial Station, a privately-owned, independent 55+ retirement community with more than 400 condos between 10 buildings, reached out for help. They say a renovation project means the only elevator in each building will be out of service for four to six weeks, with stairs as their only option up and down.

“We don’t want this to create a situation where people are in fact having to live like shut-ins,” said Tom Scott, Warminster Township manager.

Fire Marshall Joe Velten says he’s already prepped his teams on contingency plans to prevent delays in emergency response times.

“The challenge is going to be maneuvering the flights of steps and getting them down and that obviously takes more personnel to do that,” Velten said.

Two buildings at a time will be repaired on a rolling basis through the fall.

“We were just told that when it’s your turn, your building, you got to not use the elevator for, well, they didn’t give us an exact time,” resident Richard Weber said.

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Residents say while management is offering to help with grocery delivery and trash pick up, it’s not enough, and some have had to move in with family or try to plan ahead if they don’t have that option.

“I’m trying to get groceries and heavy things like I use the nutritional containers I’ll buy in advance,” resident Stan Goosenberg said.

For many though, the shutdown is crippling.

“She can’t go up and down by herself with a walker,” a woman said.

And with no easy solution in sight, the frustration is growing.

“To say it’s going to be months is ridiculous,” a woman said. “They just need to get it together and do it faster.”

Bucks County Consumer Protection (1-800-942-2669) is working with management, who did not return our request for comment.

Senior advocates say good questions to ask if you’re looking for a place for your loved one is how many elevators are there per building and are any renovations scheduled.

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Alicia Roberts