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‘Getting Up from Here’: Frail Older Women's Experiences After Falling

Authors


S424 School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211.

Abstract

Few researchers have explored older persons' experiences of falling. As part of a descriptive phenomenological study of older widows' experience of home care, 25 interviews were conducted with nine frail women who had fallen at least once at home. Some women were able to get up on their own or tried to do so. For them, the phenomenon of “getting up from here” and its component phenomena, such as “finding something solid [on which to pull up],” were primarily focused on maximizing the opportunities afforded by the home's environmental features. When the women needed help to get up, the phenomenon of “getting up from here” was understood as an exemplar of the home care experience; the women's intentions were focused on contacting or interacting with people who were already assisting them as they lived alone at home. Understanding the variability in the experience of falling is an essential basis both for sensitive interaction with elders who have fallen and for appropriate assessment of frail elders who are at risk of falling in their homes.

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