COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Aging will hold its fifth “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” campaign Sept. 23, National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The agency seeks individuals, groups, and organizations to host community walking groups and events on that day and throughout September to raise awareness of older adult falls and the many things older Ohioans can do to prevent them.
Learn more, register your group or event, and see opportunities to participate near you at www.aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/10MillionSteps
“’10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls’ has made a real difference in helping more people understand the impact falls can have on older Ohioans,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the department. “. In the first year, our partners hosted 57 events involving 4,434 participants and contributing 13 million steps. In 2018, that had grown to 106 events with 16,099 participants and 97.8 million steps. We thank our faithful partners and are eager to form new partnerships that will help us once again exceed our goal.”
While Ohioans age 65 and older comprise 17 percent of our population, they account for more than 87 percent of fatal falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths among older Ohioans. In addition to the physical toll, falls and the fear of falling contribute to depression, hopelessness, and isolation.
Falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented. Increased physical activity, like walking several times a week, is one strategy to lower the risk. “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls” partners organize community walking groups and events on or around September 23 to spread the word that simple changes can make a big difference.
Potential partners include businesses, senior centers, churches, schools, non-profit agencies, nursing homes, families, and groups of friends. Walks can be held on city sidewalks, in business parking lots, indoor or outdoor walking tracks, malls, and more. The Department of Aging publishes a list of partners and events on its website throughout August and September