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Ohio Department of Aging seeks community partners to host falls-prevention walking events and groups

A group of older adults smile as they walk together outdoors. Text reads: 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA) popular 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign is back once again for Falls Prevention Awareness Month in September 2022, and ODA is calling on community partners to do their part to raise awareness on older adult falls by hosting local walking groups and events.

“We want 2022 to be the biggest year ever for this campaign, so we are urging all communities across Ohio to host a walking event this year. We are also asking any Ohioans who have an older adult that they love in their life to walk at least one mile in support of this initiative,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “Falls are not considered a normal part of aging, but the good news is most falls can be prevented. Regular exercise, like walking 15-30 minutes each day, is one of the many things we can all do to lower our risk.”

10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls

10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls is an annual campaign from the department’s STEADY U Ohio initiative to encourage Ohioans of all ages to walk at least one mile during the month of September. During last year’s campaign, participating Ohioans walked over 47 million steps, logging a total of 18,301 miles – the equivalent of walking around the perimeter of Ohio 16 times.

Community-based walking events and groups provide opportunities for older Ohioans and others to get valuable exercise while learning about other things they can do and local resources available to help prevent falls.

Potential event and group hosts include individuals, companies, senior centers, local health departments, local governments, hospitals and health systems, doctor’s offices, community action organizations, schools, churches, service organizations, and more.

A walking event is held at a specific time and location for individuals to gather and walk together. A walking group can consist of two or more individuals walking together or separately on one or more occasions.

Individuals, groups, and organizations interested in hosting a walking event or group can find planning guides and register their event at the 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls webpage, www.aging.ohio.gov/10millionsteps. Events and groups that are open to the public will be listed on the webpage beginning in early September. 

Ohioans who would like to contribute individually to 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls may do so by posting pictures of themselves walking to social media with the hashtags #10MStepsOH and #PreventFalls.

Approximately one in three Ohioans age 65 or older will fall this year. STEADY U Ohio is a falls prevention initiative, led by the Ohio Department of Aging and supported by Ohio government and state business partners, to coordinate and strengthen falls prevention activities around the state. Find falls prevention tips and resources at www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.

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