Gary Fleischauer fell off a ladder recently

Campaign aims to prevent falls

Gary Fleischauer used to clean the gutters of his home and put up Christmas lights annually.

Gary Fleischauer used to clean the gutters of his home and put up Christmas lights annually.

The 71-year-old Victoria resident is used to climbing on his ladder to do yard work and taking care of the home he’s lived in for the past 40 years.

But roughly two weeks ago, while he was putting a tarp over the roof of his home to protect it from the heavy rain and wind, he slipped and fell 16 feet, landing on the concrete.

“I had the ladder properly positioned but for some reason, all of a sudden it rotated and dumped me off,” Fleischauer said, noting he fell onto his ankle and then his hip. “My eye sight went all blurry as a result of the shock.”

A neighbour who witnessed the accident called an ambulance and he was rushed to Victoria General Hospital.

Fleischauer broke his pelvis and had to have surgery. It’s a week later and he is still recovering.

“You’re just in so much pain and you’re totally debilitated. You’re bed-ridden,” he said, adding he won’t be able to put weight on his left leg for six weeks.

Every 10 minutes a senior will fall in B.C. This month, Island Health is kicking off a month-long public awareness campaign about preventing falls in the community.

Heather Fudge, clinical nurse specialist in seniors health for Island Health, said if seniors (aged 80 or older) fall, they could be in the hospital roughly two-and-a-half times longer than an adult.

“There are many things that we can’t control as we get older in terms of health and what effects us, but falls are 99.9 per cent preventable,” she said.“They can really change someone’s life not for the better.”

In 2014/15, 3,300 seniors (aged 65 and older) were hospitalized due to fall-related injures.

Fudge said there are a number of minor things seniors can do to prevent falls and subsequent injuries such as keeping active to keep muscles strong, cleaning up tripping hazards, getting eyes checked and wearing glasses or hearing aids when applicable, and having doctors review medications annually to ensure you’re only taking the required medications.

“As we get older, there’s most risk of falling and the effects are more devastating because we’re not as resilient as we were when you were younger,” she said, noting 70 per cent of residents in care homes are there because of a fall.

For more information on how to prevent falls visit findingbalance.ca.

 

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

VIDEO: Uptown Noodlebox restaurant catches fire

Daycare evacuated while crews fight kitchen fire

Dance Victoria Nutcracker contest returns to Oak Bay village

Find Mr. Nutcracker and Tommy Tempo now through Nov. 26 for chacne to win ballet tickets

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

Oak Bay snags Colonist Cup in 1-0 battle

Oak Bay, Reynolds senior boys soccer teams head for provincials Nov. 22

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read