In many developed countries, the care of physically and/or mentally frail old people has traditionally involved the relocation of the individual from the home to a hospital or nursing-home setting. The problems associated with this relocation- social dislocation, stigma, institutionalisation and induced dependency- have been well documented. Recent years, however, have seen a move towards home-based and community-based care gain momentum. Advocates of home-based care have emphasised the benefits of older people remaining at home. The home helps to preserve independence, both instrumentally and symbolically, while the emotional ties between the dweller and the house/neighbourhood may be very strong. Yet the idealised notion of 'home' fails to recognise the very real problems that may occur in home-caring situations. For example, the stress and isolation associated with caring for an elderly person with only limited support from formal services can lead to clinical depression amongst carers. For the dependent old person, being supported by one's family may compromise the subjective feeling of independence and mastery over one's life; many older people do not want to be a 'burden' on their children. The present paper examines the home experience of carers of elderly people who are suffering from dementia. The data is drawn from a study of service provision in the North east of England. A multiple research methodology was utilised, involving group discussions and individual, in-depth interviews with carers, self-completion questionnaires and interviews with service professionals and volunteer workers. A number of issues emerged from the research, including: -the disruption of normal home life can be considerable. For some people home experience is seen in wholly negative terms. -social isolation is a common outcome of personal, social and physical factors -carers and demtnia sufferers can be very suspicious of support workers entering their homes -given the finite time resources of the carer, the home itself can become a burden