Background A person suffering from dementia needs increasing help from another person, who, in most cases, is a female family member. Times are changing and this traditional role can no longer be maintained. Aim The aim of this research was mainly centred on ascertaining the profile of caregivers and to find out how determinants such as age, sex and educational level and living conditions led people to assume that role. Methods A survey was designed and applied to 925 caregivers (778 of which were analysed) with the collaboration of the Alzheimer's Associations of Andalucía (Spain). Associations gave their ethical approbation for this research prior to the beginning and they informed their members. The participation was entirely voluntary, and caregivers were given the option to withdraw consent. Results Women are the main caregivers in any kind of profile. Males become carers if they are old and the partner of a patient. Males use more external services. Cohabiting and working outside the home increase the use of external support services, and having a higher level of education increases the use of nursing homes. Younger caregivers perceive more intense socio-economic consequences than the general profile. Conclusions Being a caregiver implies limitations to entering the job market and for job promotion. There is a generational gap in the caregiver profile, and more and new support services will be needed. Policymakers should take those into account.