Families and assisted living.

Joseph E. Gaugler, Robert L. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Despite growing research on assisted living (AL) as a residential care option for older adults, the social ramifications of residents' transitions to AL are relatively unexplored. This article examines family involvement in AL, including family structures of residents, types of involvement from family members living outside the AL facility, and outcomes for these family members. DESIGN AND METHODS: We reviewed current literature utilizing the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases to identify AL studies that examined issues pertaining to families or informal care. Following the screening of abstracts, we retrieved 180 reports for further review and selected 62 studies for inclusion. RESULTS: Families visit residents frequently and provide a wide range of instrumental assistance but provide only minimal personal care. Studies of family outcomes indicated relatively high satisfaction but potential care burden as well. IMPLICATIONS: How family care and involvement occurs in AL in relation to formal care provision and whether various types of formal/informal care integration influence family outcomes remains unclear. We suggest a research agenda that attempts to tease out causal relationships for family involvement, differentiate family roles, and implement longitudinal analyses for a range of family outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume47 Spec No 3
StatePublished - 2007


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