There has been little work on the ethical issues facing non-professionals who care for relatives or others with dementia. A qualitative pilot study was conducted in ten such individuals, eight of them women, caring for persons drawn mainly from one general practice. The interviews indicated that many of the dilemmas faced by carers are ethical and that the issues differ from those faced by professionals. Ethical issues are sometimes the most troublesome matter for carers. Unlike issues for professionals, they arise from a personal context and are shaped by long-term relationships.