This article examines some of the difficulties experienced when caring for people with dementia in the community. Family carers play an important role in the provision of care for this client group. In the UK millions of people are currently caring for a relative in the community (Nolan, 1992). Caring for people suffering from mental illness requires the ongoing and continuous support of family and relatives. Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) like many other community nurses, are often reliant on family carers to support and care for their relatives at home. However, caring for a relative is not without its difficulties and the changes that occur as a result of a family member developing dementia place new and unexpected demands on relatives and close family members. The role of the CPN is considered as CPNs frequently become involved in complex family relationships and often help to facilitate the caring relationship.