COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Aging is calling upon community partners to help mark Sept. 22, 2016, as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day and help raise awareness of the many things our elders can do to minimize their risk of falling. The department's STEADY U Ohio initiative is asking community-based organizations, businesses, state and local government agencies, faith based organizations and other interested partners host local events inviting the community to help take "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" throughout September. "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" is a statewide campaign to get as many Ohioans of all ages as possible to walk at least one mile in the name of falls prevention.
"One in three Ohioans over age 60 will fall this year, and for many of them, that fall could lead to a life-changing injury," said Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the department. "Falls impact more than just the person who fell. A fall can prevent an older worker or their caregiver from being at work, keep a valued customer from your business, or create strains on families and community supports. Aging and fall prevention really are everybody's business."
The total estimated cost of falls (medical costs, work loss) is $646 million annually in Ohio, or $1.8 million each day.
Community partners can participate in "10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls" by hosting a one-mile (minimum) falls prevention awareness walk for their staff, partners and consumers on (or around) Sept. 22, 2016. Last year, events ranged from four or five participants to more than 1,200. Your event can help prevent falls and raise awareness, regardless of the number of participants.
- Organize a falls prevention awareness walk of at least one mile in your community. Potential venues include around your business or facility, indoor and outdoor walking tracks, YMCAs, community/state/metro parks, walking/bike paths, hiking trails, city sidewalks, malls and more.
- Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov by Sept. 15, to register your event and download promotional and educational resources. Information about your event will be posted on the website and shared with media.
- Hold your event and return to www.steadyu.ohio.gov to report the total number of participants and miles walked.
Last year, 57 different organizations sponsored 57 community events. Statewide, more than 4,400 Ohioans walked approximately 5,300 miles. At an average of 2,500 steps per mile, that's more than 13.2 million steps taken in the name of falls prevention.
Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov for falls prevention tips and resources designed for an array of audiences. While there, you can take an online falls risk assessment and learn about "A Matter of Balance," a community-based falls prevention program.
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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