Falls more deadly than car accidents in WisconsinHealth officials say more people in Wisconsin are dying from falls than motor vehicle accidents or suicide.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Health officials say more people in Wisconsin are dying from falls than motor vehicle accidents or suicide.
Unintentional falls killed 918 people in 2008, nearly twice the number of people who died from car accidents, according to a new report by Wisconsin’s Health Department.
Becky Turpin, the department’s injury and violence prevention coordinator, says a couple of factors account for the gap, including an aging population, and the fact motor vehicle-related deaths are dropping.
The report says the majority of fall-related deaths involve seniors, but one group had just as many fatal spills: young males age 14 and younger.
The Health Department says the injuries are costly, with 70-percent of fall-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.
And for falls involving seniors, it could result in lost independence. Turpin says 40 percent of seniors admitted to a nursing home had a fall 30 days prior.
“Falls are not a normal part of aging … they can be prevented and that’s something Wisconsin is working very hard at,” Turpin says.
She says a number of communities have fall prevention programs. She says the key components are having vision checked, exercising and creating a hazard free home where there’s less likelihood of tripping.