State seeks local partners to step up, help take “10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls”


STEADY U Ohio asks community groups to host walks for Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Columbus – The Ohio Department of Aging is calling upon community partners to help mark Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day and 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 to 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.

“Falls impact more than just the person who fell,” said Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the department. “A fall can prevent an employee 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.”

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, 2017. Last year, events ranged from four or five participants to more than 1,200.

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, 59 different organizations sponsored 55 community events. Statewide, more than 3,500 Ohioans walked approximately 6,800 miles. At an average of 2,500 steps per mile, that’s 17 million steps taken 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 be a life-changing event. The total estimated cost of falls (medical costs, work loss) is $646 million annually in Ohio, or $1.8 million each day.

About STEADY U Ohio – Falls are an epidemic among our elders and are the number one cause of injuries leading to ER visits, hospital stays and deaths in Ohioans age 65-plus. STEADY U Ohio is a comprehensive falls prevention initiative led by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging, and supported by Ohio government and state business partners to strengthen existing falls prevention activities, identify opportunities for new initiatives and coordinate a statewide educational campaign to bring falls prevention to the forefront of planning for individuals, families, health care providers, business and community leaders and all Ohioans. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov.

About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that our elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We collaborate with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, 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, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.

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Staff Report

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.