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Keep your stairs from tripping you up

Your home is your shelter, the thing that keeps you and your family safe and comfortable. As we age, our bodies change, and when our homes don’t change along with us, it can increase our risk of falling. Falls on stairs are a leading cause of accidental deaths among older adults, and non-fatal injuries on stairs are also common among older persons, according to the U.S. National Safety Council. However, a few minor changes and smart habits can make you safer going up and down at home or in the community.

  • Handrails are essential for stair safety, even if there are just a few steps, or even just one. Every staircase should have a sturdy railing on at least one side, though both sides is even better.
  • You need plenty of light to see stairs safely. Use the highest-wattage bulbs recommended for your fixtures. If lighting is not sufficient along the length of the staircase, or there is not a light switch at both the top and bottom, consult an electrician.
  • Make it easier to see your stairs with a strip of bright tape or paint at the front of each step. Use a different color on the top and bottom steps.
  • Check your stairs for needed repairs, including loose or cracked boards, torn carpet or other signs of wear.
  • Do not store items in stairwells or hang things on handrails.

Smart habits can help you be safe on stairs at home and when you are out and about. When carrying items up and down stairs, keep one hand free to hold the railing. Slow down and focus on the task of going up and down. Be aware that multi-focal eyeglasses or reading glasses can affect how well you judge distances to the next step.

More ways to prevent falls...

Click here to take a falls risk self-assessment.
Take a falls risk self-assessment.


10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

2nd Annual 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
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.

Learn more...


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Subscribe to receive tips and resources that can help you reduce the risk of falls for yourself or a loved one. Click the button below or text "STEADYUOHIO" to 22828 to subscribe using your smart phone.


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Tell your friends to prevent falls, one step at a time!

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