Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Spouses who placed partners in care homes experienced emotional reactions to separation and made efforts to maintain their relationship

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science

QUESTION: What are the experiences of family carers after placing a spouse in a care home?


Grounded theory.


A municipality in southern Sweden.


12 spouses {8 wives and 4 husbands}* who had placed a partner in a care home within the past 6–12 months.


In semistructured interviews, participants were asked about their experiences after admitting a spouse to a care home. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Constant comparison was used to elaborate on the themes derived from a previous set of interviews, particularly the processes of separation and continuity in maintaining relationships (“keeping”).

Main findings

The process of separation included 4 elements: pretending, dawning, putting on a brave face, and seeking solace. Pretending involved the carers convincing themselves that their spouse's admission to a care home was simply a trial separation and was not permanent. Dawning referred to the growing awareness …

View Full Text


  • Sources of funding: Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences and Allergy Research and Vårdal Foundation.

  • For correspondence:Mr J Sandberg, Department of Neuroscience and Locomotion, Division of Geriatrics, Linköping University, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. jonassandberg{at}