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LMHS to host Stroke Ability Fair

By Staff | Apr 28, 2015

Lee Memorial Health System will host its first-ever Stroke Ability Fair this week in Cape Coral.

Free and open to the public, the event will take place Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cape Coral Hospital. It will feature almost 40 different vendors showcasing services and resources available within the local community for stroke survivors and their caregivers. This is the first year for the fair.

“It is actually a new concept to Southwest Florida,” Tammy Booth, stroke analyst at LMHS, said.

She explained that the Cape hospital recently became a primary stroke center, allowing emergency responders to transport patients directly to the facility rather than taking them to the next closest. Prior to becoming a primary stroke center, the hospital would only treat stroke victims if they walked in.

“Our stroke volume – it’s increased over 90 percent,” Booth said.

“Almost 400 (people) per year were taken past our hospital to another center,” she added.

Due to the increase, officials set to planning the Stroke Ability Fair.

“It is almost just as important that we provide resources for patients in recovery,” Booth said.

Stroke survivors can suffer from issues related to balance and vision, vertigo and more. The fair will focus on resources and services available that focus on enhancing survivors’ ability, not disability.

“People that have services that can assist a patient during their recovery process,” she said.

Meal services, transportation services and support groups will be on hand. There will be simulation stations on stoke effects, physical therapy orthotics, and speech and visual therapy adaptive equipment. Visitors can also “Meet the Neurologist,” take a 25-foot balance test and undergo a visual screening.

Booth explained that survivors may have their driver’s license taken away following a stroke.

A vendor involved with a driver’s certificate program will be on hand for screenings.

“That’s where you kind of go and get reinstated,” she said.

Free health screenings will be available, including blood pressure readings, BMI calculations and glucose testing. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are big factors for stroke.

“Hypertension is a risk factor,” Booth said. “Obesity is another risk factor.”

A handful of therapists will have stations set up.

“We have a focus on the caregivers, as well,” she said.

There will be massage areas, along with representatives from a mix of facilities for their support or services, such as the wellness center and Park Royal Hospital. The United Way and more will be on hand.

“We’ll have stroke awareness materials at three tables,” Booth said.

Naples resident Bob Mandell, author of “Stroke Victor: How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor,” will be present for a book signing. He wrote about his experience recovering from a stroke.

“He is going to share his book,” she said.

During the fair, attendees can also learn about the recently opened outpatient pharmacy. Booth explained that it will set up stroke victims with any medications before they are discharged.

“It’s going to help with compliancy,” she said. “It’s going to be great pricing.”

Chance drawings will be held for baskets, gift certificates and free services or memberships.

“There’s a variety of different things, but each table will have handouts and giveaways,” Booth said.

The public is not required to reserve a spot or make an appointment to attend.

Cape Coral Hospital is at 636 Del Prado Blvd.