Where We’ve Been
The Partnership for Healthy Aging (PHA) was established in 2003 originally under the name of Health Care for the Elderly, in response to health priorities identified in the 2002 Community Health Assessment for Marathon County. In 2005, PHA identified falls prevention as a primary focus area. In Wisconsin, falls have now surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the most common cause of injury related deaths across all ages. For adults 65 and older, falls are also the leading cause of hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
Tri-County Safe Steps Project
A two-year project from 2006-2008, focused on improving older adults’ access to evidence-based fall prevention programs and creating connections between clinical and community networks.
- Training for health care providers on Best Practices in Fall Prevention held at Aspirus Wausau Hospital in January 2007. Best practice for fall prevention guidelines as well as referral options available in the community, were provided to local health care providers.
- Leaders/instructors were trained in three evidence-based programs including: Stepping On: Building Confidence and Reducing Falls, Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Tai Chi Fundamentals. Programs were offered in our community.
- Through collaboration, two fall prevention resources for community members were created: the Take Steps to Live Fall Free Brochure and the Take Steps to Live Fall Free Home Safety Booklet.
Live Well Fall Free Prevention Project
A two-year project, from 2008-2009, focused on further implementation of evidence-based prevention programs and identification of fall prevention resources.
- Additional evidence-based programs were made available to community members including: Living Well with Chronic Conditions, Strong Bones, and Gentle Yoga.
- The Senior Home Repair Program, a service of the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin (ADRC-CW) was expanded to Marathon County to help address safety needs in the home environment for older adults.
- Fall Prevention Awareness Month events were held in September 2009, including the Take Steps to Live Fall Free! falls screening event. The event included displays and exhibitors, balance testing, fitness class demonstrations and medication reviews. Over 100 participants attended.
- Physical Activity: the Arthritis Pain Reliever campaign was launched promoting physical activity to reduce arthritis pain. The campaign messages were delivered throughout Marathon and Wood counties using radio, television commercials, brochures, mailings, posters and events.
- Implementation of a public education campaign regarding the early symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) was promoted linking community members with local evidence-based interventions such as the programs, Living Well with Chronic Conditions and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program.
- During the Physical Activity: the Arthritis Pain Reliever campaign, “Let’s Get Moving Walking Clubs” were offered with a total of 70 participants completing the 6 week programs.
- Fall Prevention Awareness Month events included educational sessions and displays at six different locations reaching 198 people.