This study explores the understanding of falls and investigates how fall prevention is managed, administrated and practiced in a Danish fall prevention program. Methods: A discourse analysis inspired by Foucault is constructed. The material consists of a field study conducted at a falls clinic including participant observations, conversations and documents. Results and conclusion: The understanding of falls ranges from preventable and predictable accidents to natural and inevitable events. Fall prevention was managed, administrated and practiced through medical surveillance and self-surveillance, which produced and reproduced biomedical understandings of falls drawing on medical surveillance and health discourses. Older adults were constructed as pre-patients, passive/active fall patients and responsible self-caretakers. The study is intended to provide health professionals with a deeper understanding of the complexity of fall prevention in late life and to inspire the development of new fall prevention services.

Keywords: fall prevention, accidental falls, discourse analysis, older people, field study, medicalization