Predictors of institutionalization of cognitively impaired elders: family help and the timing of placement

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2000 Jul;55(4):P247-55. doi: 10.1093/geronb/55.4.p247.


Although predictors of nursing home placement have attracted a good deal of attention in gerontological research, the type and amount of family assistance offered to caregivers prior to institutionalization has not been extensively examined. This study analyzed the impact of family help on the timing of placement among cognitively impaired care recipients. Using longitudinal data from the Adult Day Care Collaborative Study, an event-history analysis was performed to determine the effects of family help after sociodemographic characteristics, caregiving stressors, and indicators of caregiver well-being were taken into account. Results showed that caregivers were far less likely to institutionalize their relatives when family members provided overnight help and assisted with activities of daily living care. These findings suggest that specific types of family help play an important role in delaying nursing home placement among older adults suffering from dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Day Care, Medical / psychology
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization*
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes
  • Respite Care / psychology
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications