Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patten

Second Advisor

Clarice A Staff

Third Advisor

Heather MacLeod


Admitting a loved one to a nursing home is often a traumatic event for family members. The Minnesota Department of Health states that nursing homes are experiencing higher resident turnover rates due to shorter lengths of stay for nursing home residents. With increased resident turnover, social workers have less time to orient each resident's family to the facility. Yet, numerous studies have concluded that residents, family members, and staff are more satisfied in nursing homes that view the resident and family as clients rather than only the resident. A needs assessment was completed in a 140-bed nursing home in a Minnesota city. Fourteen staff members were interviewed to determine what information is important for family members to receive at the time of admitting their loved one to a nursing home. A handbook for family members was developed from information received in the interviews. The findings of the research indicate that many of the respondents were not aware of what information is currently provided to family members. The findings also concluded that when a person is admitted to a nursing home, there are two systems coming together: the family system and the nursing home system. Educating nursing home staff members about the experience of admitting a loved one to a nursing home is a key element in developing the partnership between family and staff. Social workers can be instrumental in teaching staff how to effectively work with family members.


SC 11.MSW.2000.Hinrichs.K

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Social Work Commons