Family Caregiver Satisfaction with the Nursing Home after Placement of a Relative with Dementia

Jane B. Tornatore, Leslie A. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objective. This article examines family caregiver satisfaction after nursing home placement of a relative with Alzheimer disease or a related dementia. Determining what contributes to family caregiver satisfaction is a critical step toward implementing effective quality improvement strategies. Methods. A stress process model is used to study caregiver satisfaction among 285 family caregivers in relation to primary objective stressors (stage of dementia, length of stay, length of time in caregiving role, visitation frequency, involvement in nursing home, and involvement in hands-on care), subjective stressors (expectations for care), caregiver characteristics (education, marital status, familial relationship, workforce participation, distance from nursing home, and age), and organizational resources (rural/urban location, profit/nonprofit ownership, special care unit [SCU] designation, and custodial unit designation). SAS PROC MIXED is used in a multilevel analysis. Results. Higher satisfaction is associated with earlier stage of dementia, greater length of time involved in caregiving prior to institutionalization, higher visitation frequency, less involvement in hands-on care, greater expectations for care, and less workforce participation. Discussion. Multilevel analysis showed that primary stressors are the strongest predictors of satisfaction. Only one caregiver characteristic (work participation) and one organizational resource (rural/urban location) predict satisfaction. SCU designation was unrelated to satisfaction, perhaps because SCUs have less to offer residents in more advanced as opposed to earlier stages of Alzheimer disease. If family satisfaction is to be achieved, family presence in a nursing home needs to give caregivers a sense of positive involvement and influence over the care of their relative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S80-S88
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


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