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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Oct. 5, 2016

59 organizations, 3,500+ Ohioans help exceed "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls"

Communities across the state walked to raise awareness of older adult falls epidemic

COLUMBUS - To mark National Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 22, and to raise awareness of the epidemic of falls among older Ohioans, the STEADY U Ohio initiative asked community organizations and individuals around the state to help take "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" throughout September. Communities responded, with 59 different organizations sponsoring 55 community events. Statewide, more than 3,500 Ohioans walked approximately 6,800 miles. At an average of 2,500 steps per mile, that's 17 million steps taken in the name of falls prevention.

10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls"We are thrilled with the response of our new and existing community partners to help protect their neighbors and loved ones from the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and deaths among older adults," said Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, which operates the STEADY U Ohio initiative. "In 2014, 30.1 percent of Ohioans reported falling at least once, and more than one in ten sustained a falls-related injury. However, falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented."

STEADY U Ohio, a coordinated, statewide falls prevention campaign, recruited community organizations around the state to organize local walking events involving from a few individuals to hundreds. Host organizations included local offices on aging, senior centers, health departments, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, malls, hospitals, fitness centers, public schools and more. Several of the events included local students ranging from elementary to college age. Individuals were also encouraged to walk on their own and post a selfie of their efforts to social media using the hashtags #PreventFalls and #10MStepsOH.

"For many older adults and their families, a single fall can be life-altering. '10 Million Steps' is about helping everyone recognize that each of us has a role to play in putting an end to this epidemic," Director Loucka added.

Find tips and resources to prevent falls for yourself or a loved one at www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

"10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" Community Partners

Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2

Area Agency on Aging 3

Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc.

Area Agency on Aging 8

Area Agency on Aging Region 9, Inc.

Area Agency on Aging 11, Inc.

Aultman Health Foundation

Belmont County Health Department

Breckenridge Village

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley

Cambridge Central Elementary School

Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging

Cincinnati State Career and Technical College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

City of Ironton Health Department

Clermont Senior Services, Inc.

Cleveland Department of Aging

Community First Solutions - Elements

Community Partnership on Aging

Cottingham Retirement Community

Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio

Defiance County General Health District

Elmwood Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing of Fremont

Emerald-Pointe Health & Rehab

Erie County Older Adult Falls Coalition

Fairhill Partners

Green Hills Community

Guernsey County Senior Citizens Center, Inc.

Holmes Co. General Health District- Injury Prevention Program

Indian Mound Mall

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine

Kingston Mound Manor Residents Committee

Licking County Aging Program

Licking County Family YMCA

Logan County Health District

Medina County Senior Walk

MetroHealth System

Noble County Health Department/Home Health

Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation

Ohio Department of Aging

Ohio Department of Health

Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging

Ohio Health Care Association

Ohio Region 5 LTC Ombudsman Program

O'Neill Center

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Oxford Seniors Master Games

Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center

Richwood Civic Center


Twinsburg Senior Center

United Seniors of Athens County, Inc.

Ursuline Center

Walk with a Doc

Welch Publishing Co.

Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging

Yellow Springs Senior Center

YMCA of Van Wert County

Facts about falls and older Ohioans:

  • An older Ohioan falls every two minutes. Every five minutes, someone is injured in a fall.
  • The number of fatal falls among older Ohioans has increased more than 167 percent since 2000.
  • Older adults comprise 14 percent of our population, but account for 83 percent of fatal falls.
  • The total cost of falls (medical costs, work loss) is estimated at $1.8 million every day.

How you can prevent falls

Decreased muscle mass, vision and hearing decline, medical conditions and joint pain are some of the age-related changes that can increase falls risks. However, minor changes to the three H's - home, health and habits - can offset these risk factors:

  • Home: Remove or secure throw rugs; improve lighting especially near stairs; install grab bars in the bathroom; rearrange the home to make frequently used items easier to reach.
  • Health: Ask your doctor about a falls risk assessment and talk about medicines you take and whether they increase your risk for falls; have your hearing and vision checked annually.
  • Habits: Stay active to build muscle strength and improve balance; slow down and think through tasks; stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet that includes calcium-rich foods.

2nd Annual 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

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 www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that Ohio is on the leading edge of innovation in responding to the growing and changing aging population. We work with state agencies, area agencies on aging and other local partners to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.


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