Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes

The number of adults over age 65 in Dane County is growing. In 2010, people over age 65 were 10% of the population.  By 2030, they will represent 20% of the population. Older adults are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, but still face certain conditions of challenges while aging. More than 80% of older adults suffer from at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or dementia.

United Way is leading a remarkable cross-sector partnership among senior organizations and coalitions that serve older adults, professional associations, pharmacies, hospitals, academia, media and United Way 2-1-1 to prevent or mitigate the loss of independence for older adults and help them live healthier and safer lives.

Why it Matters:

Residents age 65 and older represent about approximately 12% of the total population.
The four primary causes of older adults seniors needing institutional care or a higher level of care by a family or professional caregiver are (1) adverse drug events, (2) falls, (3) incontinence and (4) dementia.
Falls are the number one cause of injury hospitalization in the state, and Dane County is ranked as the third-highest county in Wisconsin.
Using 5-8 medications exposes older adults to a 50% chance of experiencing an adverse drug event. The percentage increases to 100% at 8+ medications.

What we will achieve:

Reduce the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations and emergency department visits from adverse drug events and falls in Dane County by 15%.

Older adults will be healthier and able to live safely and independently in their homes without being displaced.


For Older Adults

Youth with emotional and behavioral disorders transition successfully from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment:

Disabilities: Youth Transition

Given our Agenda for Change’s focus on reducing the root causes of human conditions, we realized that the struggle that youth with disabilities have to graduate from high school and transition to postsecondary education and/or employment can lead to lifelong challenges to live independently. And among youth with disabilities, youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often experience the greatest gaps in supports and services to succeed. This population is estimated to be a total of 300 youth.

Why it Matters:

  • Youth with emotional and behavioral disorders are one of the most prevalent disability types across Dane County high schools.
  • National data illustrates that challenges such as low wages, less professional advancement, and poverty are among many faced by individuals who do not have a high school diploma and/or competitive employment. These challenges are exacerbated for individuals with disabilities because of the lower rates of high school completion and competitive employment.
  • The population of youth with EBD who are not provided the additional supports through an IEP or 504 Plan is our target population. These youth do not qualify for additional in-school supports or community supports through the County or Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. As a result, they fall through the cracks.

What we will achieve:

  • 85% of youth with EBD are provided with work experience opportunities during high school by 2020
  • Graduation rates of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders in Dane County will be 95% by 2020
  • 85% of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders transition to post-secondary education and/or employment by 2020


  • Youth will guide their goals and future planning (self-determination)
  • Youth will have hands on employment during high school
  • Parent/Guardian involvement provides encouragement and support
  • Interagency and school collaboration to ensure a smooth transition of support services from high school to post high school