Falls are a major cause of injury in all ages of the U.S. population, but a particular burden in older persons. One-third of people over the age of 65 years will fall every year.
In 2021, there were over 118,000 nonfatal emergency department (ED) visits (treated and released only) and over 13,000 nonfatal hospitalizations with a fall-related injury. Hospitalizations account for 10% of these nonfatal events. There were over 1,700 fall-related deaths the same year. Wisconsin has one of the highest rates of death from unintentional falls in the nation.
The good news is falls are preventable by:
- Shaping systems and policies to support fall prevention.
- Increasing public awareness about fall prevention.
- Improving fall prevention where people live.
- Improving fall prevention in health care settings.
Visit the sections below to learn more.
Stepping On is a seven‐week workshop that is proven to reduce falls. Workshops are offered throughout Wisconsin, facilitated by trained leaders, and provide a safe and positive learning experience.
The focus is on improving balance and strength, home and environmental safety, vision, and a medication review.
Research shows that participants of Stepping On have a 31% reduced risk of falls
- List of all Evidence-Based Health Promotion programs offered in Wisconsin are found at the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
- For data on fall-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits, go to Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health (WISH)
- Go to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Compendium of Effective Fall Interventions and the STEADI Toolkit, at CDC Adult Falls home page
Falls are often considered a routine part of aging. The following links provide information on how to prevent falls from happening to you or your loved ones.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
American Geriatrics Society
- Preventing Serious Falls: Tips for Older Adults and Their Loved Ones
- Home Safety Tips for Older Adults
Public Health Agency of Canada
National Institute on Aging
Community providers offer valuable resources to older adults who are at risk of or have already suffered a fall.
The following links provide information on the problem of older adult falls, how to make living environments safer, and how to implement fall prevention programs in your community.
For contact information for your local aging office, visit the Department of Health Services (DHS) County and Tribal Aging Offices webpage.
- Preventing Falls: Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults
- Preventing Falls: A Guide to Implementing Effective Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs
- Hip Fractures Among Older Adults
National Council on Aging
American Physical Therapy Association
American Occupational Therapy Association
Health care providers offer trusted advice and care plans to their patients. For older adults, these should include assessments of fall risk and strategies to prevent falls.
The following links provide information on the problem of older adult falls and how you can assist in reducing the problem of older adult falls.
Older adults may need specialized medical services and health information. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health published a new version of Talking With Your Older Patient, A Clinician’s Handbook. This handbook offers guidance for communicating with older adults in a way that promotes respect, understanding, and treatment adherence, while making efficient use of clinicians’ time.
- First Step to Active Health
- National Council on Aging
- The American Geriatrics Society
- National Institute on Aging
- Archstone Foundation
- National Guideline Clearinghouse
You can also contact your county or tribal aging office.