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Center plans balance and fall prevention seminar

By Staff | Oct 14, 2009

Nathalie Grondin, a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System’s The Balance Clinic, is holding a presentation on balance issues at the Lake Kennedy Senior Center.
Balance is one of a number of issues related to fall prevention. According to the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition, 144 people died as a result of falls in 2007, leading health advocates to found Step WiseLee in September.
Grondin is an expert on balance issues, dizziness and fall prevention. She will discuss common medical conditions related to balance problems, tests that people can do to determine their balance and exercises to correct any issues.
The presentation will be held from 1-2 p.m. Friday.
“I’m going to talk about what balance is all about and what are the most common medical conditions that lead to balance problems,” she said.
The topic is generally for senior citizens, but Grondin said balance issues hit younger generations as well. Lee County’s rate of death from falls more than doubles the state average.
“I like to talk to people about their balance issues from 50 on,” she said. “A lot of people have balance problems and don’t realize it, the sooner you catch it the less likely you will have a fall in the future.”
Balance issues typically result from chronic diseases or other conditions, but Grondin said the natural aging process — changes in vision, for example — also can alter someone’s balance.
“There are some normal changes with aging that make balance a little more precarious,” she said. “But, mostly what happens is that it’s a combination of chronic diseases.”
On the other hand, a majority of people develop balance issues from leading an inactive or sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that most people exhibit little signs that their balance is worsening, and therefore can make an effort to correct it.
Grondin has been at The Balance Clinic since 2001 and her primary interest is treating balance and vestibular dysfunction or vertigo.
“I have been holding these for a long time as part of my work,” she said. “This is not an event related to Step WiseLee, but my efforts are guided towards helping that cause.”
The clinic is also offering free balance screenings Oct. 29 in Fort Myers. For information or to register, call 418-2000.