Carers’ perspectives on choosing a care home for a relative with dementia

Katz, Jeanne; Holland, Caroline; Mitchell, Kate; Gage, Heather; Thein, Nwe and Sheehan, Bart (2013). Carers’ perspectives on choosing a care home for a relative with dementia. Families, Relationships and Societies, 2(2) pp. 211–228.



This article describes findings from a project that explored what happens to people with dementia (PWDs) following discharge from a general hospital to a residential care home. In 15 out of 109 cases referred to a hospital psychiatric liaison team, admission to a residential care home was indicated during the hospital stay. This 'last resort' for families, following repeated hospital admissions and a deteriorating condition, was accepted when all involved agreed that it was in the best interests of the PWDs. Four months after the move, carers reflected on their criteria for choosing the home, their expectations and whether these were met. Carers' own wellbeing improved and their mental distress reduced as the PWDs appeared settled and safer. However, the findings suggest a continuing key role for family carers of PWDs in care homes and emphasises the need for advocacy for PWDs without such support.

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