Background: Moving one’s spouse with dementia to a nursing home is a complicated and stressful affair.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to get insights into relatives’ experiences of moving a spouse with dementia to a nursing home.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were held with five relatives in Denmark, all of whom had placed their spouses with dementia in a nursing home.

Results: Nursing home-placement was described in three different phases (1) Dealing with an untenable situation; (2) Meeting the changes of a new life situation, and (3) Getting on with a new life: a process containing nine main themes, which was characterized both by relief, but also symptoms of burden, grief and feelings of guilt, failure and loss.

Conclusion: Focus on the three phases and the related main themes of the ‘nursing home-placement-phenomenon’, can be useful and helpful for nurses, in their support and care for these relative

Keywords: care, dementia, experience, nursing home, spouses