A survey of carers belonging to the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Society (ADARDS) had three aims: (i) to investigate the process of health professionals providing information to patients and carers: (ii) to determine the nature of problems burdening carers; and (iii) to examine factors associated with institutional placement. Carers reported on deficiencies in the provision of information and indicated their preferences as to how the information should be given. ADARDS, general practitioners and other health professionals were reportedly helpful, with each appearing to have a role in providing information about dementia. Multiple problem behaviours were reported by most carers, especially difficulties with communication, the need for constant supervision and disruption to personal life. Institutional care was most highly correlated with dependency problems, severity of dementia and a non-spouse carer. Implications include the need for training of doctors in communication and education about dementia with particular attention to management of dependency problems.