Mandurah pensioner issues warning after shopping centre fall

INJURED: Yvonne had injuries and bruising in multiple places. Photo: Supplied.

INJURED: Yvonne had injuries and bruising in multiple places. Photo: Supplied.

Experts are reminding residents to watch out for hazards after an elderly Mandurah woman tripped and fell in a shopping centre car park.

Meadow Springs woman, Yvonne D'ascenzo, 71, reached out to the Mail after her foot caught in an uneven part of bitumen during a shopping trip with her husband.

When I arrive at the Meadow Springs café that we arranged to meet at, the Ms D'ascenzo is sitting at a table near the back wall. Her right eye is dark purple and she points towards bruising that runs down her entire shin. "You should have seen it a few days ago," she said. "My eye was twice this size."

"The second my foot hit the dip, I fell. I heard this huge cracking sound, I thought I was going to die," she said. "The sound turned out to be my head bouncing off of my car."

A Silver Chain nurse, Sheree O'Toole happened to be parked next to Yvonne when she fell. "I saw her fall and immediately went over to her," Ms O'Toole said. "It was traumatising for the poor lady. She headbutted her car. On top of that, it was a stinking hot day."

Ms D'ascenzo's husband took her to the doctor, who recommended a CT scan along with knee and shoulder X-rays. "I've had a knee replacement," she said. "Part of my bone isn't where it's supposed to be and my doctor said we need to figure out why."

Ms D'ascenzo said the most painful result of the accident was the emotional toll it took on her. "I haven't been able to sleep. I just lay there at night. I've taken two weeks off of my physiotherapy and I haven't been able to go back to the shopping centre.

"I just don't want anyone else to hurt themselves...especially a vulnerable person."

Injury Matters injury prevention manager Rachel Meade said by staying away from hazards a person could reduce their risk of falling exponentially.

"One in three people over the age of 65 have a fall each year, with some resulting in serious injury and hospitalisation, but falls are preventable they don't just happen," she said.

"Simple changes such as replacing torn carpets, removing mats, making sure your home is well lit, your eyesight is healthy and wearing supportive footwear can go a long way to preventing falls..."