PREBLE COUNTY — Holiday shopping is in full swing and Ohioans are hitting the stores looking for bargains. One thing they may not bargain for is a fall. Crowded stores, door-buster sales and decorations can easily distract you from your most important task: staying on your feet. As you plan your shopping trip, make sure you also plan to prevent falls. The Ohio Department of Aging’s STEADY U Ohio initiative and Golden Buckeye program offer these tips to ensure that your holiday shopping trip doesn’t end with a fall.
• Shop at off-peak times to avoid crowds and long waits. Bring someone with you who can wait in line for you if you need to sit and rest.
• Report hazards, such as spills, loose rugs or mats, and unsafe sidewalks or stairs, to store staff immediately.
• Avoid walking around displays that block your view of other shoppers and obstacles.
• Ask store staff for help carrying heavy or bulky packages or bags to your vehicle. Avoid carrying large, low-hanging bags that can trip you.
• If you use your cane or walker at home, shop with it, too. Take advantage of the mobility scooters many stores provide if you could be on your feet for longer than you usually find comfortable.
• Tell store staff if you see anybody behaving in an unsafe manner.
• If you fall, even if you’re not hurt, notify store staff and management right away so that they can document the incident and take steps to prevent future accidents.
In addition, prepare for icy conditions as the days turn colder. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going and do what you need to do without rushing. Dress for the weather, but make sure you can see in all directions and move freely. Wear warm shoes that fit well and offer good traction. When conditions are icy, walk with a buddy or carry a cell phone. Check that the rubber tips on canes and walkers are in good repair, and assume that surfaces that look slippery are slippery and find another way.
One in three older Ohioans will fall this year. Falls are an epidemic among our elders and are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths among Ohioans age 65 and older. A single fall can lead to a life-altering injury, less independence and disability. Even if they aren’t injured, some older adults will develop a fear of falling, which increases the risk of falling again.
STEADY U Ohio is a comprehensive falls prevention initiative led by Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging. The STEADY U Ohio initiative offers tips and resources for older adults and their families to make changes to their home, health and habits and lower their falls risk. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov for advice, to take our online falls risk self-assessment and to learn more about programs to help you tackle your fear of falling.
Preble County Council on Aging offers a variety of programs that assist with seniors staying independent, in their homes, and maintaining balance. In addition to our daily activities of, In-Home Services, Home Delivered Meals, and Transportation. PCCOA offers evidence based programs such as Chronic Disease for Self-Management and Matter of Balance classes. Stop in our Senior Activities Center at 800 East St. Clair St. or give us a call at 937-456-4947 for further inquiry.
To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities. Like our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/preblecountycouncilonaging/ or give us a call at 937-456-4947. Visit our website at www.PrebleSeniorCenter.org.