As American prepares to "fall back" this weekend with daylight savings time, the Ohio Dept. of Aging is doing what it can to help senior citizens avoid taking a fall of their own this winter.
According to the department, at least one older Ohio adult will fall every minute, resulting in an average of three deaths per day. In an effort to reverse this trend, the state is trying to raise awareness with its STEADY U initiative.
“Most falls happen in the home, so as days get shorter and cooler, it’s crucial to make sure our homes are as safe as they can be,” Stephanie M. Loucka, director of the Dept. of Aging, said. “Just like checking your smoke alarms, coupling the time change with a scan of your home for falling hazards can prevent a life-changing tragedy for you or your older loved ones.”
So if you or a loved one are a senior citizen preparing to turn the clocks back, try to remember these tips:
- Is furniture arranged to create straight and clear paths between rooms?
- Is there enough lighting near doorways and stairs and in the bedroom and bathroom?
- Are walkways free of clutter, cords, papers and other slipping tripping hazards?
- Are rugs secured to the floor so they don't move or slip or flip up when walked on?
- Are commonly used items in the kitchen stored in easy-to-reach locations?
- Are the floors and floor coverings (tile, carpet) in good repair and free of raised edges?
- Do you have slip resistant rugs and mats in the bathroom?
- Are indoor and outdoor steps and handrails sturdy and in good repair?
- Are sidewalks clear of mud and storm debris?
More information can be found at steadyu.ohio.gov.