Examine how older adults narrate falls by collecting and analyzing narratives about falls written by older adults.
Falling is recognized as a serious risk for older adults, often marking the transitional moment where activity is curtailed, and at times, living independently gives way to assisted or nursing home living. Yet, research on falling in older adults has historically been framed in terms of objective risk factors and rarely designed with the intention of capturing the unique lived experience of the participant. Research that has focused on older adults’ personal experiences of falling has drawn conclusions from transcribed interviews rather than written narratives. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, The Falls Narrative Study is a feasibility study designed to fill this gap in falls-related research by asking older adults to write a story about a fall or near-fall experience.