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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

April 1, 2011

Get daily tips on Facebook to prevent injuries during Public Health Week

Learn how safety is not an accident and that you can live injury free

COLUMBUS - To support Public Health Week with the theme "Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free," the Ohio Department of Aging will be providing injury prevention tips via its page on Facebook from April 4 through 10. Two tips will be given each day, one in the morning with a focus on preventing injuries at work, and one in the afternoon that highlights prevention at home. Facebook users can visit www.facebook.com/OhioDepartmentOfAging, and click the "Like" button to have the tips delivered right to their news feeds.

"The risk of injury, particularly from falls, increases as we age, but aging alone is not a risk factor," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "Most injuries are not accidents, they are preventable by taking simple actions and considering the things you do that may put you at unnecessary risk."

Some facts about injuries in older adults:

  • Adults age 80 and older have 20 times the risk for death from injury as younger individuals.
  • Each day, approximately two Ohioans age 65 or older suffer fatal falls.
  • From 2000 to 2008, Ohioans age 65 and older experienced a 141 percent increase in the number of fatal falls and 132 percent increase in the fall death rate.
  • Ohioans age 65 and older accounted for 82 percent of fatal falls in 2008, while they represented only 14 percent of the population.

The Department of Aging is a proud member of the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership.

In addition to injury prevention tips, subscribers to the department's page on Facebook also will receive weekly spotlights on businesses that honor the Golden Buckeye Card and timely updates about current issues affecting older Ohioans, department programs and initiatives, local activities and resources, and more.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.

Healthy U Tips of the Day:

Prevent injuries at work:

  • Understand and follow all workplace safety regulations and best practices. Always wear all personal protective equipment required or recommended for your occupation.
  • You can prevent injuries at work: Learn to recognize unsafe or unhealthy conditions at work, such as obstructed views, malfunctioning equipment, tripping hazards and unsafe vehicles. Report these to the proper personnel as soon as possible.
  • If you notice a co-worker physically struggling with his or her job duties, report the situation to a supervisor immediately. Accidents can harm the worker and those around him or her.
  • When you are driving, do away with all distractions. Avoid eating, using your phone, texting or grooming while behind the wheel.
  • Workplace violence can cause injuries. Know your company's workplace violence policy and be prepared to report any violent or potentially violent situation. You may save someone some pain, and could save someone's life.
  • Be supportive of others in your workplace who would like to improve their health and safety. Volunteer to start a walking club or lunchtime exercise group. Physical exercise can greatly reduce the risk of falling.
  • Don't tolerate unsafe behaviors. If you see a co-worker ignoring safety rules, not using safety equipment or otherwise acting in an unsafe way, report his behavior immediately.

Prevent injuries at home:

  • Assess your home for potential hazards such as poor lighting, loose floor coverings, cords, uneven surfaces and unsafe furniture. Make sure all electrical outlets are covered and inaccessible to children.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Establish a plan for how you would evacuate from your home in the event of an emergency.
  • Store cleaning supplies and medicines in locked cabinets out of reach of children. Program emergency numbers, such as the poison control hotline (1-800-222-1222) into your home phone and mobile phones for use in case of a poisoning emergency.
  • Check your water heater periodically and adjust the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent accidental burns.
  • Exercise! Building strength can help you avoid accidents and related injuries. Follow instructions on exercise equipment and inspect it regularly to ensure it is in good working order. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as helmets and pads.
  • Join or start a neighborhood watch program. Encourage the group to look not only at preventing crime, but also at making the neighborhood less prone to accidents. A watch group can also monitor for signs of abuse, neglect or self-neglect.
  • Talk with friends and family members about the rules of the road, both as a driver and a pedestrian. You may be surprised at how much you have forgotten or, perhaps, never knew. Visit your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office for updated education materials.

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