Caregivers in crisis: moving a relative with Alzheimer's to assisted living

Clin Nurs Res. 2001 Feb;10(1):52-68. doi: 10.1177/c10n1r6.


The experience of moving a relative with Alzheimer's disease (AD) to an assisted living facility (ALF) was examined in this secondary data analysts of 20 interviews with family caregivers. Crisis theory was used as guiding framework for the analysis. Findings indicate that all elements of a crisis were evident among caregivers in the process of moving their relative to an ALF. Dangerous behaviors resulting from the relative's cognitive decline led to caregiver fear and anxiety, which served as crisis precipitants. Perceived lack of family support in conjunction with physical and psychological exhaustion were crisis mediators. These factors, along with the caregiver's failed attempts to keep their relative at home, caused the crisis process to move toward the outcome of ALF placement. A better understanding of the crises that surround placement issues will assist nurses in planning interventions for the growing number of families faced with this issue.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Housing for the Elderly*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care