Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

The Experience of Falling of Older People with Dementia and Their Carers

Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

The Experience of Falling of Older People with Dementia and Their Carers

Article excerpt

Brunel University, 2012. PhD.

Falling by older people is of significant global concern as the population ages, in bringing subsequent injury, disability, admission to long-term care and mortality. Older people experiencing dementia are twice as likely to fall with the most severe consequences. Unsurprisingly, carer burden increases when a care recipient falls. Older people are rarely asked about their experiences of falling and this is even more the case for those with dementia.

The studies presented in this thesis explore the experiences of falling of older people with dementia or memory problems and those of their carers. The studies were informed by contextualism. The primary study used interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the experiences of nine older people with dementia and those of their 10 carers. The studies used one-to-one and joint interviews with three focus groups drawn from nine older people experiencing memory problems and 12 carers from a branch of the Alzheimer's society.

Analysis of the data considered both the fall experience itself and the perceived consequences of falls, within two higher level themes: (1) Falling as a malevolent force, subdivided into two subsidiary themes: Going back to the experience; Reactions, responses and coming to terms with events and (2) Falling as the manifestation of dementia, also subdivided into two themes: Self, identity and falling; The caring relationship. …

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