The ADRC of Dane County provides information about resources and support on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability and is a one-stop shop for older adults, people with disabilities and their families. ADRC staff are unbiased and knowledgeable professionals who listen to your concerns, help clarify your options and direct you to appropriate resources. The ADRC is also the access point for information about long-term care options and applying for public benefits. Services provided by the ADRC are free and available to all Dane County residents regardless of income or assets.
June is National Safety Month!
The number one cause of preventable deaths among older American adults is falls. Falling is the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related death over all age groups, but it's the #1 cause of death for those 65 and older, according to Injury Facts 2017 The good news: Aging, itself, does not cause falls.
Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor.1 Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- One in three older adults falls each year
- More than 250,000 hip fractures are reported every year, and 95 percent of those are from falls
- Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Many falls do not cause injuries. But one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury.3,4 These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own.
GOOD NEWS: Falls are preventable and aging, itself, does not cause falls.
Some of the underlying causes of older-adult falls, such as muscle weakness, medications that cause dizziness, improper footwear, impaired vision, slick floors, poor lighting, loose rugs, clutter and uneven surfaces, can be improved.
While falls can happen anywhere, they most often occur at home. What can you do to make your home or the home of someone you love safer?
- Remove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip
- Arrange or remove furniture so there is plenty of room for walking
- Secure carpets to the floor
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Make sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free from ice
- Use non-slip adhesive strips on stairs
- Use non-skid mats or appliques in the bath and shower
- Install grab bars in the tub, shower and near the toilet
- Install railings on both sides of stairs
- Provide adequate lighting in every room and stairway
- Place nightlights in kitchen, bath and hallways
- Make often-used items more accessible, like food, clothing, etc., so an older person won't be tempted to use a stool or ladder to get to them
- If necessary, provide personal walking devices, such as a cane or walker, to aid in stability