A survey of members of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Society confirmed high rates of psychological morbidity, though not of depression, and social isolation in family carers of persons with dementia. Psychological morbidity in carers was associated with having an affected person at home, the carer being a spouse, demanding problem behaviours, poor physical health in the carer, social isolation, dissatisfaction with social supports, greater use of psychotropic medication, and a deteriorated marital relationship. Carers and patients had high rates of consultations with doctors and other health professionals. There was a vulnerable group of carers who were impaired psychologically, socially and physically. The identification of risk factors to carer morbidity may lead to useful interventions.