Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Mary M. Ball

Second Advisor

Molly M. Perkins

Third Advisor

Candace L. Kemp


Most persons with a dementia are cared for in the home by family members who experience a broad and considerable amount of stress and whose caregiving careers may include planning for or initiating moves to memory care units (MCUs). This study examines the decision-making processes of primary informal caregivers regarding their care recipients' moves to MCUs. Grounded theory methods were used to collect and analyze data in two long-term care (LTC) facilities varying in characteristics including capacity, state licensure, fees, and resident profiles. Specific aims are two-fold: 1) advance an understanding of how primary informal caregivers of persons with a dementia made decisions for formal memory care, and 2) identify the important factors related to the decision-making process.