Discursive constructions of falls prevention : Discourses of active aging versus old age as disease

Lotte Evron, Anita Ulrich, Lene Tanggaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingContribution to book/anthologyResearch


This study presents a discourse analysis of falls prevention among older people in a context of a falls clinic. Data are based on an empirical study of the ways in which fall prevention was realized and managed in a falls clinic at the political, recruitment and treatment level. Despite massive information and investment in falls prevention programs, many still drop out or decline to participate in such programs. The study explores how discourses cross swords in the domain of falls prevention. We identify two main discourses in the field: Discourses of active
aging opposed to discourses of old age as disease. In discourses of active aging falls are constructed as preventable and not necessarily related to old age; in discourses of old age as disease falls are constructed as a disease of old age. Specific agent positions are created within discourses. Discourses of active
aging construct self-responsible citizens who are physically active and motivated to participate in falls prevention programmes; discourses of old age as disease on the other hand construct “fall patients” who accept being passive in the health care system. Older citizens who are not in need of treatment or less physically
active are excluded from the discourses. Future falls-prevention strategies might try to invite different perspectives on aging and physical activities to improve participation rates in falls prevention programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNordic Congress of gerontology. Dilemmas in Ageing Societies. Abstracts and Program
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Publication date10 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2012
Event21 Nordic Cogress of Gerontology: Dilemmas in Ageing Societies - København, Denmark
Duration: 10 Jun 201213 Jun 2012


Conference21 Nordic Cogress of Gerontology


  • elderly
  • discourse analysis

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