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A Better Balanced You: January 11, 2014

Need more balance in your life? If you’ve fallen or have a fear of falling, experts say you may benefit from balance therapy.

“People think that having balance problems and falling is normal - it is not normal,” says Nathalie Grondin, physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.

A free balance screening is a big first step towards a better balanced you. Offered monthly by Lee Memorial Health System, it takes about 15 minutes and flows through three stations.

“First they will fill out a questionnaire on activities of daily living how confident they are in 16 areas. Then that information follows them through to another station where they go through physical tests. And the last area is where we put it all together and kind of give them a big picture of their risk of falling,” says Grondin.

Armed with a risk assessment, people can learn ways to improve their situation. Therapy teaches how to avoid falls or if that’s not possible, how to avoid injury if you do fall.

“You try to relax and roll with the fall. The more that you try to fight and tense up, the more likely there would be an injury. Injuries that cause hip fractures are typically sideways injuries, so we want to make sure that we protect the hip as we fall,” says Grondin.

Falls in the elderly often lead to broken bones, hospitalizations, even death. Getting timely therapy could strengthen your foundation in the New Year.