Adult falls are a problem more common than many might realize.
In Dane County, for instance, 1,700 residents were hospitalized after falling in 2011.
And for those with existing concerns with mobility or balance, even a simple home staircase can present a falling hazard.
Falls among older adults in particular can also be costly, with the charge for one fall-related hospital stay averaging more than $33,000.
Another devastating aspect is the potential consequence: a loss of personal independence. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of older adults injured in a fall die in a nursing home.
So, what can adults do to stop falls from happening?
Cheryl Wittke, of Safe Communities of Dane County, said the good news is that falls are largely preventable. She said there are four key aspects to prevent falls among older adults.
1. Balance. Doing cardio exercise isn't enough, Wittke said. In addition to working out, she suggests people try things like Tai Chi or leg raises to improve balance.
2. Get Vison Screening. In addition to getting screened regularly, Wittke recommends having cataracts taken care of right away.
3. Medications. This means checking the interactions of your existing medications and making sure they're metabolizing correctly, said Wittke.
4. Home enivronment. Here, Wittke said, "There's lots of programs out there that can help you make your home safe."
Wittke said that of course, one of the best things people can do is to start thinking about what they can do to prevent falls when they're younger.
"If everybody started younger, we'd have fewer falls," she said.