Older Women’s Experience of Falling



The consequences of falls are significant, not only to the quality of life of those who have fallen, but also to their families. The aim of this study was to identify the “essence” of the phenomenon of older women’s experience of falling and to help inform aspects of the development of an integrated care pathway for falls prevention and management. A total of 9 women over the age of 70 years participated in the study. All had experienced a fall and were in the rehabilitation stage of their recovery following initial hospital admission. Following taped interviews and using a structured 7-point framework to break down the interview content, 8 themes were identified as descriptors of the fall experience. Two new themes were identified in the study that had not been previously seen in the literature. They are experiences related to “the moment of falling” and “knowing it was a more serious fall,” with the notion of blame being stronger in this work than had been found in previous studies. It was clear in the study that the phenomenon of experiencing a fall is a complex one, and that the psychological experiences felt by the women needed to be acknowledged and considered in their rehabilitation treatment.

Heather Monaghan, MHSc, RN

Key Words: falls, fear of falling, older women, falls prevention, falls management, seniors

One time download – from December 2022 Issue