See your way to a steadier you!
We depend on our vision for balance and to keep us safe in different environments. However, age-related eye diseases increase the likelihood that you could experience a debilitating fall. Poor vision can inhibit your mobility and contribute to accidents. Ohioans age 65 and older who have an age-related eye disease are 50 percent more likely to fall according to the Ohio Department of Health. Of those who fall, 20 to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently.
Eye diseases not only can lead to a fall, they can also be a result. Falls are the leading cause of eye injury, according to research from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all older adults hava yearly eye exam and wearing corrective lenses as prescribed are important to help prevent falls. However, multifocal lenses, such as bifocals or progressive lenses, can affect your ability to move safely. Talk to your eye care professional about the best way to get used to your new glasses, as well as options, such as a pair of single-focus lenses to use when you are moving around.
Other ways to maximize vision and minimize falls include:
- Invest in good lighting and turn the lights on when it is dark.
- Use the highest-wattage bulbs recommended for your light fixtures.
- Add contrast (light on dark colors or vice versa) to household items, such as steps and bathroom fixtures.
- Wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim to reduce sun glare outdoors.
More ways to prevent falls...
Take a falls risk self-assessment.
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.