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Older Ohioans: “Win winter” with tips, resources to prevent falls from STEADY U Ohio
Snow and ice do not have to send you slipping and sliding
Columbus, Ohio – As autumn comes to a close, pledge to “win winter” by taking small steps to avoid a life-changing fall. 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.
“Falls are not a normal part of aging, just as slipping and sliding need not be part of winter,” said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D., director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Winning winter starts with making a pledge to stay falls-free no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.”
STEADY U Ohio, the state’s falls prevention initiative, offers tips to help you “win winter” by preventing falls:
· 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.
Find a wealth of tips to help prevent falls in all aspects of life at the STEADY U Ohio website, www.steadyu.ohio.gov. Take the online Falls Risk Self-Assessment and learn about A Matter of Balance, a free program to help older adults learn to see falls as something they can control. Visit often or follow STEADYUOhio on Facebook and Twitter for daily falls prevention tips, and sign up to receive weekly emails with news and resources.
“Let’s all pledge to ‘win winter’ by preventing falls!” added Director Burman.
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.