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Falls Prevention Awareness Day:  Preventing Falls – One Step at a Time

Falls are the leading cause of injury for Ohioans aged 65 and older.   Fallā€related injury rates for Ohioans 65 years and older are higher than rates for all other injuries combined.  Ohioans 65 and older account for more than 8 out of 10 fatal falls; while they represent just 14% of Ohio’s population.

The Ohio Departments of Aging and Health join the Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition to observe Wednesday, Sept. 23 as Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Ohio and encourage all Ohioans to use the autumn season to educate themselves and their loved ones about the risk of falls and fall-related injuries that increases as we age.

Falls Prevention Awareness Day Toolkit

The Ohio Departments of Aging and Health have assembled a toolkit, including a customizable local news release, to help increase public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults.

Help Us Take 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

Help the Steady U Ohio initiative stop the epidemic of falls by joining us to take "10 Millions Steps to Prevent Falls." Organizations from across the state will be hosting awareness walks on Wednesday, September 23 in their communities. Watch the video below or visit http://aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/ for more information.

Prevent Falls with Four Small Steps

Four “small steps” can help reduce your risk of falls and falls-related injuries:

  1. Increase your physical activity. Simple exercise, like walking or swimming at least 15 minutes a day can help build muscle strength and improve balance, which can prevent falls. Exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.
  2. See your eye doctor once each year.   Poor vision makes it more difficult to move around safely. Age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, can increase the risk of falling. Early detection is key to minimizing the effects of these conditions.  Wearing contact lenses or glasses with the right prescription is also very important to preventing falls.
  3. Review your medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking and whether they may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Discuss things you can do to ensure you are taking your medicines safely.
  4. Remove environmental hazards. About half of all falls occur at home. Look around the house for anything that could increase the risk of falls, including loose rugs, slippery floors, clutter and unsteady furniture.  Remove or modify these hazards.  Improve home safety by adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving lighting in the home.

Contact your area agency on aging or local health district office for help and resources to prevent falls.

 

For More Information on Preventing Falls, Visit:

Reducing Falls Through Collaboration and Partnership Power point Presentation

Ohio Department of Health - Falls Among Older Adults Homepage

National Council on Aging Center for Healthy Aging - Falls Prevention Awareness Day 2015 Tools and Resources

Fall Prevention Center of Excellence - Fall Prevention Week Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Falls Among Older Adults

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries) Fall Prevention Screening Tool Kit for Health Care Providers 

STEADY U - Fall Prevention Resource for Ohio

Last Reviewed 09/16/2015