Eau Claire (WQOW) - Most of us have heard of Wisconsin's reputation for DUIs, or the high number of opioid overdoses, but there's another danger putting Wisconsin above many other states.
Wisconsin is second in the nation for fall-related deaths among people 65 or older, according to the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.
Here in Eau Claire, fire department Deputy Chief, Jon Schultz, said falls make up a majority of the calls the department responds to. That's more than alcohol and overdose related incidences.
Schultz said while it's not something we often talk about, it can have a huge impact on someone's health, and even be fatal.
"If somebody falls it has a huge affect on their lifestyle, especially if they break a hip, break a bone," Schultz said. "You know now they're going to be in the hospital for a significant amount of time. The elderly, a lot of times they won't come back from that. I mean that can very well be where they aren't able to live by themselves anymore."
The fire department does have a falls prevention program with the Aging & Disability Resource Center. Through it, officials can walk someone through a home safety check, and fall-proof the house as best they can by doing things like installing rails or checking rugs. Officials say this can keep these individuals in their home while also keeping them as safe as possible