Experiences and Perceptions of Older People Making the Transition to Living in a Care Home: An Integrative Literature Review

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Globally, along with population ageing, there is an increasing trend for older people with complex care needs to reside in care homes. It is recognised that moving into a care home can be a complex and emotional experience for the individual and their families. Despite this, there is a paucity of research that takes into consideration an individuals’ experiences of the move. An integrative literature review and a thematic synthesis supported the identification of themes describing the experiences and perspectives of older people making the transition. A systematic search was conducted in six English electronic databases (CINAHL complete, ProQuest health and medical collection, PyscINFO, and Scopus). The quality of the research papers selected were assessed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses (PRISMA) and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP). Four predominant themes emerged from the review: (1) decision making and control, (2) Process of transition, adjustment, and adaptation, (3) Psychological reactions, and (4) connectedness, support, and companionship. Within the current body of literature there is a lack of understanding of the processes older people undergo that describe their experiences during the day to day adjustment and adaptation to living in a care home. Furthermore, there is limited research into the psychological and/or social experiences of older people moving into a care home that takes into consideration the total relocation process, incorporating residents’ early and ongoing experiences during the transition
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 Mar 2023


  • Transitions
  • Older People
  • Adaptation
  • Care Home


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