Introduction: Falls in the elderly are a significant problem with consequences that may lead to death. Although many studies have been conducted regarding falls in the elderly, little is known of their own perceptions and experiences of falling. The purpose of this study was to better understand how the elderly living in institutions understand and perceive their experiences of falling. Materials and Method: A qualitative design was used based upon van Manen's phenomenological approach. Interviews were conducted with 22 elderly using a purposive sampling method. Van Manen's data analysis approach was used to analyze the data derived from the interviews. Results: Outcomes of this study showed that there were three main perceptions about falls for the elderly: Participants acknowledged falling as a painful experience and that falls should be expected in old age. Still others understood that life goes on but with new areas of concern which will require their attention and care. Conclusion: The results of this study show that all health care personnel, particularly the nurses who care for the elderly in an institutional environment, need to adopt an individualized and empathetic approach to those in their care. Falls happen often and can be fatal to the elderly. Thus it is very important for all health care professionals working with the elderly to be fully informed and involved in ensuring that their patients practice safe behaviors to guard against falls. Care should also be taken to ensure that their living environment is safe and secure.
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