For elderly people the decision to enter an institution is usually the result of complex interactions which involves not only themselves but also professionals and family members. This research concerns the role of families in the decision-making process over the admission of their elderly relatives to nursing homes in Taiwan. The families' views, including their influence and involvement in the process, were examined. It was found that most elderly people in Taiwan were cared for in their own homes by family members, but under certain circumstances, nursing home entry seemed inevitable. The decision-making process, mainly within a family context, was influenced by the needs of the elderly people, by their adult children, including their availability, and by perceptions about nursing home entry. The pattern of family care and involvement may change and reasons are suggested for this.
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