Safe Communities

Safe Communities Madison-Dane County

Programs for Health Care ProvidersPrograms for the Community


Falls Prevention from Safe Communities

Take Steps to Prevent Falls and Stay Independent

More area residents land in the hospital after a serious fall than from any other injury cause.  In 2011 alone, 1,700 Dane County residents - most of them older adults - were hospitalized after falling.  Falls come at enormous costs.  The average charge for just one fall-related hospital stay - excluding rehabilitation and long term care - is over $33,000.  And, most unfortunate of all, a fall can signal the end of a person's independence.  40% of older adults injured in a fall end their lives in a nursing home, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But there is good news!  Falls are NOT a normal part of aging.  Many falls can be prevented.

Studies find that our risk of falling, particularly as we age, can be decreased by following suggestions and clinical practices included below. Thanks to the efforts of Safe Communities Falls Prevention Task Force members and partner organizations (see sidebar), we have resources in Dane County to help older adults stay safe and independent.  This webpage, divided into two sections - one for older adults and their friends, family and advocates;  the other for health care providers -  is meant to make your search for ideas and services easier.    

Welcome, and we hope you'll take advantage of all the community resources we have available in Dane County - exercise classes, home safety checks - to protect yourself or an older adult you care about from falling - a critical step in a safe and healthy future.