Purpose : The purpose of the study was to document the voices of community-dwelling older adults’ perceived quality of life following the experience of falls.
Methods: This qualitative study utilized semi-structured questionaires with probes to explore the perceived quality of life of five community-dwelling older adults who have experienced a fall within the previous 12 months of the study. Braun and Clarkes (2006) six-phase process of thematic analysis (TA) was used to guide the data generation and analysis.
Results: Analysis yielded 13 codes that were collated into four themes described participants’ perceived quality of life following their fall experiences. The four themes are: 1) Perceived threat to individual autonomy and personal dignity 2) Amplified limitations of inevitable philological decline from normal aging process 3) Heightened awareness of environmental hazards as additional source and constant reminder of fear of falling and 4) Psychological scar from a previous fall experience affected their self-confidence and interfered with their self-worth.
Conclusion: The study echoed the voices of participant’s about fear of falling as a limiting factor that affected their perceived quality of life. Study participant’s described how their fall experiences influenced their thought processes, compelling them to avoid certain activities that they used to enjoy, and a need to adjust their way of living to mitigate their fall risks.
Significance and Implications: The findings of this study underscored the impact and consequences of falling for community-dwelling older adults, a phenomenon discussed in the literature. Study findings echoed the unique voices of community-dwelling older adults perceived quality of life following a fall experience. It highlights community-dwelling older adults’ views of perceived quality of life following the experience of fall.
Strength and Limitations: This study contributed to knowledge of the consequence and implications of the experience of falls for community-dwelling older adults. It accentuates the unique voices of community-dwelling older adult’s perceived quality of life following fall experiences. The findings should be interpreted in light of the relative small sample size. Larger sample is necessary to amplify the results of this study and to gain deeper understanding of community-dwelling older adults’ perceived quality of life following fall experiences.