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Memories of Falls: Resolved or Unresolved Memories?

Authors
  • Gallouj, Karim1
  • Altintas, Emin1, 2
  • El Haj, Mohamad1, 3, 4
  • 1 Unité De Gériatrie, Centre Hospitalier De Tourcoing, Tourcoing, France. , (France)
  • 2 Laboratoire PSITEC - Psychologie: Interactions Temps Émotions Cognition, Université Lille Nord De France, Lille, France. , (France)
  • 3 Nantes Université, Univ Angers, Laboratoire De Psychologie Des Pays De La Loire, Nantes, France. , (France)
  • 4 Institut Universitaire De France, Paris, France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental aging research
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Volume
48
Issue
1
Pages
58–67
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/0361073X.2021.1926829
PMID: 33993854
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

There is bourgeoning interest in how older adults remember their falls and research in this area has demonstrated how falls can reshape memory retrieval in older adults. We pursued this line of research by assessing whether older adults succeed in integrating memories of falls into their life story. We invited older adults to remember their falls and analyzed whether these memories were integrated or non-integrated. Analysis demonstrated no significant differences between the number of integrated and non-integrated memories. Critically, however, higher anxiety and depression was observed in participants who produced non-integrated memories than in those who produced integrated ones. The ability to integrate memories of falls in older adults is likely associated with anxiety and depression. Anxiety may result in avoidance of processing of the meaning of falls, and depression may hamper the ability to extract meaning from them, resulting in difficulties for older adults to integrate falls into their life story. Non-integrated memories of falls in older adults may be seen as unresolved memories and deserve special clinical attention.

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