Lynn Zhu

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Alan Salmoni


This study examined how informal caregivers made decisions about placing older spouses in long-term care (LTC) facilities. A mixed methods approach was used to collect data from 40 spousal caregivers of community dwelling individuals above the age of 65, using the Aging Perceptions Questionnaire, the Revised Familism Scale and a semi-structured interview. Participants also made decisions for hypothetical vignette characters representing the varying levels of care needed by individuals currently on Ontario’s LTC waitlist. Qualitative and quantitative findings were unclear about the relationship between the attribution of health conditions to aging made by spouses and LTC decisions made for their care recipients. However, qualitative findings indicated that sense of familial duty to care for a spouse affected LTC decisions. These decisions were also influenced by the caregivers’ personal health and personal preference about care giving duties, gender of the caregiver, access to home care services, quality of the spousal relationship and personal experiences with caregiving.



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