A longitudinal study of predictors of nursing home placement for patients with dementia: the contribution of family characteristics

Gerontologist. 1999 Dec;39(6):677-86. doi: 10.1093/geront/39.6.677.


The caregivers of elderly patients with dementia (N = 164) were followed for 2 years to determine if characteristics of the multigeneration family predicted nursing home placement (NHP) over and above the effects of patient demographics, severity of patient disease, and characteristics of caregivers. Clinical assessment occurred at baseline, and caregivers were assessed by questionnaire and interview at baseline and every 6 months. No patient demographic, severity, or caregiver characteristic significantly predicted NHP. Families scoring high on emotional closeness, high on negative family feelings, and low on family efficiency institutionalized their ill elders at a significantly higher rate than other families, especially at low levels of patient severity. The findings argue that a careful examination of the multigeneration family should increase the prediction of NHP and the relevance of services offered to these families.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Caregivers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cognition Disorders / classification
  • Dementia / classification
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Demography
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / classification
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index