Falls are a big problem, resulting in injury and death, in Wisconsin and in Dane County.
- Falls are a leading cause of injury-related deaths, and the number one cause of injury-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits for all ages in Dane County. These rates are especially high for those 65 years and older.
- Wisconsin hospitalization rates for falls among seniors is higher than other states and Dane County is greater than the state as a whole.
- Falls among older adults are a major public health problem that can lead to a loss of independence and decrease quality of life. It affects not only the individual, but also their families. Significant health care costs can also result.
- Falls do not have to be a part of aging. By reducing risks for falls, older adults can gain independence and improve quality of life.
The Safe Communities Falls Prevention Task Force is a community collaborative effort to reduce the risk for older adult falls in Dane County. The Task Force consists of health care providers, community groups that serve older adults, public health, and public safety agencies. The work of the task force includes:
- Increasing public awareness that falls are preventable and not a normal part of aging.
- Enhancing coordination of services for patients at risk between health providers, community organizations and the aging network.
- Training health care professionals to recognize fall risks and screen for falls.
- Increasing community availability of evidence-based programs such as "Stepping On" and "No Falls" to improve balance, build strength, and recognize other risk factors that contribute to falls.