The Ohio Department of Aging’s STEADY U Ohio initiative is celebrating the month of September as Falls Prevention Awareness Month and inviting all Ohioans to help them take “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls.”
“10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” is meant to raise awareness of the prevalence of older adult falls and the simple things we can all do to remove hazards and reduce risk. One in three Ohioans over age 60 will fall this year, and for many of them, that fall could lead to a life-changing injury or even death. A single fall can change the life not only of the person who falls, but also their family members, friends and neighbors.
“Older adult falls are a serious problem in Ohio, affecting one in three older Ohioans every year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun helping people understand that falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented,” said Beverley Laubert, director of the department. “’10 Million Steps’ is our challenge to Ohioans and our communities, businesses and other groups to be part of the effort that ends the epidemic of older adult falls.”
The department created “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” because engaging in regular physical activity, such as walking 15-30 minutes each day, is one of the most basic things you and your loved ones can do to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, increase endurance and reduce your risk of falling. There are three ways you can participate and help the STEADY U Ohio initiative reach its goal:
Any time in September, take a one-mile walk and post a selfie to social media using the hashtags #PreventFalls and #10MStepsOH. Be sure to set your posts to “public” to ensure your effort is counted toward the state’s goal.
Participate in a “10 Million Steps” group event in your community. Dozens of community organizations have partnered with STEADY U Ohio to sponsor local walking events throughout September with information and resources to help you and your loved ones prevent falls. Events and groups are fun, interactive and informational. Visit http://www.steadyu.ohio.gov to find one near you.
Organize co-workers, club members, sports teams, classrooms, neighbors, congregation members or other groups to host your own “10 Million Steps” group walk. Register your group or event at http://www.steadyu.ohio.gov.
This is the fourth year for “10 Million Steps.” Last year, 53 community partners hosted 57 walking groups or events in which 4,935 individuals of all ages walked more than 22,000 miles. At an average of 2,500 steps per mile, that’s 56 million steps taken in the name of falls prevention!
Other ways older Ohioans can prevent falls:
Engage in 15-30 minutes of simple exercise like walking or swimming every day.
Talk to your doctor about falls and your risk at every visit; talk about any recent falls and ask for an assessment.
Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist for combinations that may increase your risk.
Get your hearing and vision checked at least annually; use eyeglasses and hearing aids as prescribed.
Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet.
Examine your home for common slipping and tripping hazards and remove them.
Visit http://www.steadyu.ohio.gov for more falls prevention tips and resources. While there, you can take an online falls risk assessment and learn about community-based falls interventions available around the state.
About STEADY U Ohio – STEADY U Ohio is a comprehensive falls prevention initiative led by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging, and supported by Ohio government and state business partners to strengthen existing falls prevention activities, identify opportunities for new initiatives and coordinate a statewide educational campaign to bring falls prevention to the forefront of planning for individuals, families, health care providers, business and community leaders and all Ohioans. Visit http://www.steadyu.ohio.gov.