Is Your Medicine Cabinet Putting You at Risk?
Modern medicine is helping people live longer, healthier lives than they did even 20 years ago. But as much as medications can help you manage your health risks, some prescription medications can increase your risk of falling by causing dizziness, drowsiness or numbness. They could also have other side effects that affect your balance and perception. You can avoid many risk factors that can lead to a fall and injury by being partners with your doctor and pharmacist and talking about your prescriptions. Remember to:
- Maintain a list of all the drugs you take, including doses, frequency and prescribing doctor. Also include any over-the-counter medicines or supplements you take. Bring the list with you to doctors’ appointments and when you pick up prescriptions.
- Read the prescription label. If it says "may cause dizziness or drowsiness," or cautions against driving, ask about the best time to take it to avoid falls. Ask your doctor about alternative treatments with less hazardous side effects.
- Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Ask your doctor to write detailed directions on how and when to take your medications.
- Talk to your doctor about changes to your eating habits, as well as how much caffeine and alcohol you consume, as these can affect how your medicines work.
- Ask your pharmacist about easier-to-read labels and instructions on your medicine containers if you have trouble reading warnings or directions.
- Your pharmacist can help select the best over-the-counter medications that only have the ingredients you need for your symptoms.
More medication tips...
Take a falls risk self-assessment.
Falls Prevention Symposium
Conference Information and Agenda | Visit Facebook Event Page
10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls
For the second year in a row, the STEADY U Initiative called on all Ohioans to help take "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls." Getting 15-30 minutes of physical activity every day is one of the most basic things you or a loved one can do to reduce your risk of falling. Walking strengthens muscles, improves balance and increases stamina, all of which can make you steadier on your feet.
Throughout the month of September, 59 partner organizations organized 55 community events to raise awareness of older adult falls prevention and, most importantly, provide opportunities for Ohioans of all ages to get moving. More than 3,500 Ohioans walked approximately 6,800 miles - that's 17 million steps!
Thank you to all the organizations and individuals who helped make this event an undeniable success!
News Release: 59 organizations, 3,500+ Ohioans help exceed "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls"
Did you know...?
- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization and death among Ohioans aged 65 and older
- An older Ohioan falls every minute on average, resulting in an injury every five minutes, an emergency department visit every six minutes, two hospitalization each hour and three deaths each day.
- Approximately 16 percent of Ohio citizens are age 65 or older, yet this group accounts for more than 85 percent of fatal falls.
- The total estimated cost of falls (medical costs, work loss) is $1.9 billion annually in Ohio, or $5.2 million each day.
- About three out of five falls among older Ohioans occur in the home; one in four falls occur in a nursing home or other residential facility.
- Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented!
Facts about falls in Ohio.
It Takes Everyone
Most falls in older adults can be prevented. A person's risk for falls goes down the minute he or she stops being afraid of falling. Preventing falls for every older Ohioan will take a community approach.
Everyone - from the individual and his family, to doctors and nurses, to business owners and managers, to community leaders and more - has a role to play in preventing falls. It's like the old saying goes, "united we stand, divided we fall." What's your role in preventing falls in Ohio?
If you wish to become involved in the STEADY U initiative, contact us or subscribe to be notified of opportunities. Opportunities include community falls prevention coalitions, serving as a lay leader in the A Matter of Balance Program, and more.
Falls Prevention in the News
About STEADY U Ohio
STEADY U Ohio is a statewide collaborative falls prevention initiative, supported by Ohio government and state business partners to ensure that every county, every community and every Ohioan knows how they can prevent falls, one step at a time. This website is the source in Ohio for falls prevention information, tools and other resources.