Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patten

Second Advisor

Kristen Lund

Third Advisor

Mary Lou Williams


Special care units for people with dementia are a relatively new phenomenon within the long-term care setting, having evolved as a way to meet the special needs of individuals with dementia. The numbers of people who will be affected by dementia is projected to rapidly increase in the future. The literature reveals that special care units are very heterogeneous in their physical characteristics, program designs, and therapeutic approaches, yet most appear to be based on common theoretical conceptual frameworks. This exploratory study examined the current nature of special care units designed for people with Alzheimer's disease/dementia in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Through qualitative interviews with social workers who work in SCUs, the similarities and differences of SCUs and non-SCUs were obtained as well as recommendations for the development and design of new special care units.


SC 11.MSW.1995.Manning.SA

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Social Work Commons