One in three older Ohioans will fall this year, and the snow and ice of an Ohio winter increase those odds. However, most falls can be prevented by understanding your risk factors and being more aware of your surroundings.
Steps to "Win Winter!" include:
- Dress Defensively - Bundle up, but make sure you can see in all directions and move easily and freely. Wear sturdy shoes or boots with good treads. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare on surfaces.
- Walk Wisely - Slow down and pay attention to how and where you're walking. Allow extra time to get to where you're going. Keep sidewalks and stairs outside your home clean of ice and snow, and keep cords and clutter out of walkways inside.
- Pack Power - Carry a small baggie of salt, sand or kitty litter in your coat for traction on icy paths. Replace worn rubber tips on canes, walkers and crutches.
- Keep Connected - Carry a cell phone and designate someone to call for help if you need it. Let loved ones know when you are leaving the house and when you expect to be back; call them after you return home.
- Healthy Habits - Do some light stretching before you venture out. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, which can affect your balance. Stay active all winter to maintain strength and balance.
More winter falls prevention tips...
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 two minutes on average, resulting in an injury every five minutes, six emergency department visits and one hospitalization each hour, and three deaths each day.
- Approximately 15 percent of Ohio citizens are age 65 or older, yet this group accounts for more than 84 percent of fatal falls.
- The total estimated cost of falls (medical costs, work loss) is $646 million annually in Ohio, or $1.8 million each day.
- Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented!
Take a falls risk self-assessment.
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.
Subscribe to receive tips and resources that can help you reduce the risk of falls for yourself or a loved one. Enter your email address 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!