Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio Department of Aging Director Bonnie K. Burman today unveiled STEADY U Ohio, a new statewide initiative to prevent falls -- the number one cause of injuries leading to ER visits, hospital stays and deaths among Ohioans age 65 and older.
"It is not an exaggeration to call falls an epidemic in Ohio," said Kasich. "Ohio's seniors are integral members of our communities and we want them to live long, healthy lives. To help keep older Ohioans safe and maintain their independence, we are calling on every county, every community and every individual to learn what each of us can do to prevent falls and falls-related injuries. Working together, we can reduce falls among our elders."
The STEADY U Ohio initiative will:
*Create a one-stop online resource for falls prevention;
*Expand A Matter of Balance education and exercise program;
*Develop STEADY U toolkit for health care providers;
*Partner with businesses to create "Fall-Free Zones";
*Promote falls risk assessments in nursing homes and home- and community-based care
*Target and educate high-risk populations through key partnerships.
"Falls are not a natural part of the aging process, and most falls can be prevented," added Burman.
"Preventing falls will take all of us working together, which is why we are taking a 360-degree collaborative approach. We are engaging elders and everybody who interacts with them, from their family members and healthcare providers to the businesses and community organizations they frequent."
"Elders who have fallen are often reluctant to tell anyone about it," Burman continued. "Through STEADY U Ohio, we are empowering elders to take steps to reduce their risk of falling again."
Every Ohioan can connect with STEADY U Ohio via social media and subscribe via e-mail to receive periodic falls prevention tips and information. Falls prevention information, tools, tips and other resources are available on STEADY U Ohio's website at www.steadyu.ohio.gov.