Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise the research literature on the quality of life (QoL) of both caregivers (CGs) and care recipients (CRs) with dementia after admission to long-term care facilities. Design/methodology/approach: Four databases – AgeLine, Medline, EBSCO, and PyscINFO – were searched and the relevant literature from 2002 onwards was reviewed. Findings: The review of 12 studies (five studies, including only family CGs; six studies including residents; one study including both family CGs and CRs) reveals a discrepancy regarding the effects of institutionalisation on the CRs’ and CGs’ QoL. Among seven studies on CRs’ QoL change, some reviewed studies found a significant decline in CRs’ QoL after placement with others showing that CRs’ QoL was improved or stable. While some reports indicated that some family CGs benefited from placement, others showed that CGs merely maintained their QoL. However, family CGs in the reviewed studies were more likely to report improved QoL than were their CRs after institutionalisation. Research limitations/implications: The authors recommend that future studies should focus on understanding the individual’s adaptation to placement, dyadic changes in QoL (including mediators/moderators). They emphasise the need for a comprehensive longitudinal study with more than one wave and includes diverse groups including racial/ethnic minority CGs and CRs. Originality/value: This study reviewed and synthesised the research literature on the QoL of both caregiver and the people with dementia they cared for after those they cared for were admitted to long-term care facilities. The conclusions drawn about influences on QoL provide guidance for identifying best practices and research.