CFAES Give Today
OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

January 10, 2024 - 9:00am --

Stepping into a new year brings renewed focus on health and well-being. As we age, preventing falls plays an important role in staying healthy. 

Stepping On is meant to do just that by addressing the risks. 

Are the rugs secure in your house or could they cause you to slip under your feet? 

Is your footwear sturdy and safe? 

What kind of lighting is available when you get up during the night? 

Could you trip over your pet? 

Are you safely navigating steps, sidewalks, and curbs? 

Are you building strength and balance through exercise? 

Do you know how to safely get up from a fall? 

Seven weeks of Stepping On begins February 1st

These are just some of the topics that will be addressed when Ohio State University Extension in Wayne and Holmes counties facilitates a seven-week Stepping On workshop from 10 a.m. to noon each Thursday, starting Feb. 1 and continuing through March 14 at College Hills Retirement Village, 905 Portage Road, Wooster. Registration is required by calling OSU Extension Wayne County at 330-264-8722 or OSU Extension Holmes County at 330-674-3015. Class size is limited. 

Helping me facilitate the program will be Kate Shumaker, OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator in Holmes County. We look forward to working with participants, both from College Hills Retirement Village and the community. 

Stepping On is an evidence-based program designed for people who are living at home and have experienced a fall or are concerned about falling. Exercise is one of the most important aspects of the program. Participants learn simple strength and balance exercises that we practice at each session. They also learn how to spot and avoid risks of falling and make changes that will help them stay safe. 

Community safety professionals and experts who are pharmacists, vision specialists and occupational therapists will show participants how their medications, eyeglasses and even their footwear can make a difference in their falls risk.

Sharing the ups and downs can help  

Participants can help others in the group by sharing what has worked for them, here’s what a few of them shared during the sessions. 

A 90-year-old participant from one of our Stepping On classes last year talked about how she is able to navigate her sloped driveway more easily because of what she learned in the class and the exercises she continues to do faithfully each day.  

Another participant let us know that she had bought and installed new night lights and got shorter shoelaces for her shoes, replacing the dangling ones. 

Other participants have shared that they were surprised to learn about so many factors associated with fall prevention. 

We realize that studies show, one in four people aged 65 and older has a fall each year causing injuries, hospitalizations, nursing home stays and even death. It’s more than the bumps and bruises that make falling scary. Falls without injuries can make people afraid of falling again which can lead to a loss of confidence, depression, isolation, and inactivity. 

Learn to step with confidence

The goal of Stepping On is for participants to step outside their homes with confidence and keep doing the activities they love such as gardening, traveling, and attending their grandchildren’s activities.  We’d love to have you join us to learn how to make your home safe, please give us a call at 330-264-8722. 

The program is unsuitable for people with memory problems and those who are totally dependent on a walking frame. 

Laurie Sidle is an Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H program assistant and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or
This article was previously published in The Daily Record.