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Cape Coral clinic preparing for future balance screenings

By Staff | Jan 10, 2011

Although registration for Tuesday’s free balance screening reached its capacity in Cape Coral, the Balance Clinic is currently taking names for the next screening to help identify if residents are at risk of falling, along with providing information on how to improve balance.
Physical Therapist Nathalie Grondin said the screenings usually fill up very quickly, adding that organizers are happy to take names and numbers for those who are interested in participating in the next free balance screening. To be placed on the list call (239) 574-0317.
She explained that the clinic is working towards hosting the screenings every quarter at each of the centers in Lee County.
The screenings are held to provide people with an idea of making sure they are on the right track with their balance.
The screening typically takes 15 minutes to complete the three-fold process. Individuals first answer a brief questionnaire about their level of confidence related to 16 different tasks, history of falls and if they use an assisted device. After the questionnaire ,they go to two different stations that entail seven tests of balance.
Grondin explained that if an individual fails four or more tests, they recommend that the person see his or her physician, so thorough tests can be done to determine if there is a balance problem.
Grondin said there are many precursor signs to determine if there is a balance problem. Some of those signs include if an individual has the tendency to touch objects around them, walk slower, constantly looking down, have a general sense of anxiety or concern of being outdoors when there are crowds, being on uneven surfaces and negotiating their environment.
Another sign that has been proven to be an indicator of a balance problem is when a person cannot walk at their normal speed and talk at the same time.
“Many people think that falling and having balance problems is a normal part of aging and don’t realize that it is not a normal part of aging and especially that they can get help,” Grondin said.
“So many people think it is something they have to learn to live with, but with a thorough evaluation and education/guidance and a few weeks of therapy (depending on the problems), their balance and self-confidence in their balance skills can improve significantly.”
Injuries are the leading cause of death for Florida residents who are 65 years and older, many of which are results of unintentional falls.
The Balance Clinic has been open in since 1996. Grondin said it specializes in helping people with balance, dizziness and vertigo problems, along with anything that is related to balance.
She explained that the staff tries to decrease any symptoms that may interfere with a person’s lifestyle, along with providing education on how to prevent falling.