Living with falls: house-bound older people's experiences of health and community care

Jennie Stewart, Chris McVittie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Despite world-wide emphasis on falls prevention, falls and their consequences remain a major health issue
for older people, and their health care providers. Many systematic reviews have been undertaken to evaluate the impact of intervention programmes on falls reduction, however, relatively little research provides a voice for older people’s own perceptions of such programmes. To readdress this imbalance the current research utilized a purposive sampling method to recruit a hard to reach group of older people who had received a post-fall health and social-care programme to investigate their experiences of the programme. Semistructured interviews with eight housebound people aged over 65 who had fallen were undertaken, and data analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Four themes were identified: losing independence; losing confidence; losing social identity; managing a changed self. Despite a tailored intervention programme minimal improvement in participants’ psychological adjustment to falls was noted. Outcomes from this study are of interest to health and social-care staff who deliver falls prevention programmes. Staff need to enhance constructive adjustment to the older person’s altered circumstances and ensure behaviours do not exacerbate their clients’ loss of independence. This should assist older people’s ability to positively manage their sense of self, allowing them to find continuing meaning in their daily lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number4
Early online date20 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • older people
  • community care
  • qualitative research
  • rehabilitation falls


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