6-11-19 fatal falls remain high among wisconsin’s elderly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Advocates for the elderly say fatal falls among Wisconsin’s aged remain high because of a growing population, lifestyle hazards and better reporting.   The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says 1,393 residents age 65 and older accidentally fell to their deaths in 2017. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports show Wisconsin routinely ranks highest in the country for elderly fatal falls.  State health officials estimate the number of residents 65 and older will increase between 2010 and 2040 from 14% to 24%.  The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging’s executive director, Betsy Abramson, says many also blame Wisconsin’s high rates of obesity and alcohol consumption.  The group and others are working to prevent falls through home modifications, medication reviews, vision screening and a balancing program.