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As a nurse that works in an orthopedics unit, Sara has personally seen the negative consequences of fall-related injuries. The psychological impact due to the fear of falling and the loss of independence accompanies the physical pain of falling. Also of importance, Wisconsin has a higher fall mortality rate than the nation as a whole.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one-third adults of age 65 years or older suffer from a fall.
  • Over-2 million adults seek care in the emergency room as a result of fall-related injuries.
  • Multiple programs are available that improve muscle strength and balance which have been shown to help reduce falls with older adults in the community.
  • Participating in a fall reduction program may be associated with less severe fall-related injuries and in turn will reduce health care costs.



Nancy’s work in community outreach has shown her that falls are costly – both in dollars and in the loss of well-being for older people. Research has shown that even if a fall does not cause any injuries, it can cause a fear of falling or loss of confidence. This fear leads many older people to limit their activities. It may result in reduced mobility and loss of physical conditioning, further increasing the risk of falling. The threat of a fall can be a barrier to safely doing all the things older adults want to do both at home and in their community – volunteering, going to events, meeting with friends, going to family functions, exercising, shopping, home chores, and others.

Falls ARE preventable – DON’T WAIT until a fall injures more than your pride or the fear of falling prevents you from doing what you love! So, what can I do you ask? Find a Stepping On class offered in a community in Wisconsin near you!

Stepping On is a seven-week workshop using adult education to develop the knowledge and skills needed to help older adults prevent falls. Topics of focus include strength and balance exercises, medication management, home safety, footwear, vision, and mobility all play an important in fall prevention.

How does Stepping On Work?

  • Stepping On is a high-level, evidence-based program proven to reduce falls by 50{06237e1879926985d8d48a0cf3a3766f41735b30c0289b05a82a40b03fd22f7c} and build confidence in older people (Journal of Safety Research, 2/2015). These community-based, small-group workshops are facilitated by trained leaders and provide a safe and positive learning experience focused on improving balance and strength, vision, home and environmental safety, and a medication review.
  • The group meets once a week for 2 hrs for 7 consecutive weeks. Each week the group focuses on new topics that build on the topics discussed the week before to bring a multifaceted approach to prevent falls from every aspect of life! The exercises taught are the mainstay and are discussed and practiced each week.
  • Guest EXPERTS are invited throughout the 7 weeks to share their knowledge and expertise with the group and include a Physical Therapist (comes to 3 classes!), Vision Specialist, Pharmacist and Community Safety specialist

To locate a Stepping On class in YOUR community visit this website’s search option, visit https://wihealthyaging.org/workshops, or call your local Aging and Disability Resource Center!

Sara Clark, RN, BSN works as a nurse leader at Saint Elizabeth Hospital caring mainly for orthopedic and neurology patients. She is currently attending Saint Xavier University to obtain a masters of nursing degree in clinical nurse leadership. Sara has a passion for fall prevention and other hospital-based quality initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys camping with her husband and two small children.

Nancy Krueger is the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Aging and Disability Resource Center serving Calumet, Outagamie and Waupaca Counties. She has held this position for 10 years in November. She coordinates many Evidence-Based prevention programs including three fall prevention programs, Stepping On, Strong Bones and Tai Chi. In addition, she is also a Master Trainer for Stepping On nationwide and Strong Bones statewide. Nancy has a true passion for fall prevention!