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. However, falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. To celebrate National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 23 and to raise awareness of the many things our elders can do to minimize their risks, the STEADY U Ohio initiative is asking all Ohioans to help take “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” throughout September.
“Regular physical activity, like walking 15-30 minutes a day, strengthens muscles, improves balance and increases stamina, and is one of the most basic things you can do to reduce your risk of falling.” said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D., director of the Ohio Department of Aging, which operates the STEADY U Ohio initiative. “We want all Ohioans to know about the little changes we all can make to our homes, health and habits that will help us and our loved ones stay on our feet.”
“10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” is a statewide campaign to get as many Ohioans of all ages as possible to walk at least one mile on or around Sept. 23 in the name of falls prevention. You can help achieve this goal in one of two ways:
Participate in a “10 Million Steps” event in your community. Dozens of community organizations have partnered with STEADY U Ohio to sponsor local walking events with information and resources to help you prevent falls. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov for the list of events.
Any time in September, take a one-mile walk by yourself or with family or friends, and post a selfie of your efforts to social media using the hashtags #PreventFalls and #10MStepsOH. Posts will be counted toward the state’s goal.
Director Burman also challenges all Ohioans who care for or serve individuals who are unable to walk on their own to participate in “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” on their behalf.
“Whether you’re a caregiver or a case worker, nurse’s assistant or head of nursing, falls prevention should be a big part of what you do every day,” Burman added. “You can join the cause and create a culture of falls prevention by figuratively walking a mile in their shoes.”
Individuals participating in “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” on another’s behalf should include the hashtag #MileInTheirShoes to their social media posts.
Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov for falls prevention tips and resources designed for an array of audiences. While there, you can take an online falls risk assessment and learn about “A Matter of Balance,” a community-based falls prevention program available in all 88 Ohio counties.
“Let’s put an end to the falls epidemic in Ohio, one person and one step at a time,” added Director Burman.