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Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2018 Dec;13(1):1479586. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2018.1479586.

There is more to life than risk avoidance - elderly people's experiences of falls, fall-injuries and compliant flooring.

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a Centre for Public Safety, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology , Karlstad University , Karlstad , Sweden.



Falls are the most common cause of injury in all ages and are especially difficult to prevent among residential care residents. Compliant flooring that absorbs energy generated within the fall, has been proposed as a measure to prevent fall-injury, however little is known regarding the implementation aspects in clinical settings. The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of falls, the risk of fall-injury, prevention in general and specifically compliant flooring as an injury preventative measure amongst frail elderly people living in a residential care facility with compliant flooring. Through this, generate a theory that further explains the underlying barriers of active prevention amongst elderly people.


We used the grounded theory method and conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with eight elderly people in residential care (data collected between February and December 2017).


The identified categories were Falling as a part of life, Fearing the consequences and A wish to prevent falls and injuries. Through the results it was clear that There is more to life than risk avoidance, permeated the interviews, therefore forming the grounded theory. The interviewees viewed falls as something common and normal, and were uninterested in focusing on the risk of falls. Although they wanted to prevent falls, it was often difficult to integrate preventative measures into their everyday life. They embraced the idea of an injury-reducing compliant flooring, however their main interests lay elsewhere, preferring to focus on social interaction and issues concerning daily activities.


The theory generated in this paper proposes explanations on the obstacles of implementing fall prevention measures in an elderly frail population. The findings give insights as to why interest and compliance for active fall prevention measures are low. We conclude that complaint flooring, from the perspective of the residents, can work well in residential care.


Injury prevention; fall injury; impact-absorbing flooring; low-impact flooring; nursing home; residential care

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