The effects of placement on dementia care recipients’ and family caregivers’ quality of life: a literature review

Heehyul Moon (Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
Peggye Dilworth-Anderson (Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Johannes Gräske (Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 13 March 2017



The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the research literature on the quality of life (QoL) of both caregivers (CGs) and care recipients (CRs) with dementia after admission to long-term care facilities.


Four databases – AgeLine, Medline, EBSCO, and PyscINFO – were searched and the relevant literature from 2002 onwards was reviewed.


The review of 12 studies (five studies, including only family CGs; six studies including residents; one study including both family CGs and CRs) reveals a discrepancy regarding the effects of institutionalization on the CRs’ and CGs’ QoL. Among seven studies on CRs’ QoL change, some reviewed studies found a significant decline in CRs’ QoL after placement with others showing that CRs’ QoL was improved or stable. While some reports indicated that some family CGs benefited from placement, others showed that CGs merely maintained their QoL. However, family CGs in the reviewed studies were more likely to report improved QoL than were their CRs after institutionalization.

Research limitations/implications

The authors recommend that future studies should focus on understanding the individual’s adaptation to placement, dyadic changes in QoL (including mediators/moderators). They emphasize the need for a comprehensive longitudinal study with more than one wave and includes diverse groups including racial/ethnic minority CGs and CRs.


This study reviewed and synthesized the research literature on the QoL of both caregiver and the people with dementia they cared for after those they cared for were admitted to long-term care facilities. The conclusions drawn about influences on QoL provide guidance for identifying best practices and research.



Moon, H., Dilworth-Anderson, P. and Gräske, J. (2017), "The effects of placement on dementia care recipients’ and family caregivers’ quality of life: a literature review", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 44-57.

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