Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Tony Bibus, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Laura Boisen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sandy Nelson-McGurran, LGSW


This primarily qualitative study was undertaken to explore two main research questions. The primary research question was: "What do families need when admitting a loved one to a nursing home?" The secondary research question was: "Are there ways that nursing home staff. especially social workers, can help family members adjust to placement?" Data were obtained by surveying a sample frame of social workers who belong to the Minnesota Nursing Home Social Workers Association and whose names appeared on the association's mailing list. Ninety-eight potential participants selected at random by stratified sampling were sent questionnaires. Open ended, short answer, scale, and fixed alternative questions focused on participants' professional experience, knowledge, and opinions of what families need. Participants were invited to request a summary of the findings to inform their practice. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to examine the results of the study. The findings suggest that families need and appreciate emotional, informational, and social support during the process of adjustment. Other aspects of what families need and how social workers can help them are addressed. This study becomes increasingly significant as the population ages and more people are affected by the placement of a loved one. Social workers need to know how to meet the needs of these hidden and often forgotten clients.


SC 11.MSW.2002.Vandenbe.AA

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