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This study explored the relationship between health and social support in wives who care for husbands with dementia In order to understand how significant others begin mobilizing help for caregivers, the significant others' views of the carers' health and social support were analysed Subjects comprised 75 significant others identified as being familiar with the caregiving situation of a like number of caregiving wives Hypotheses, which were rejected, predicted that wife caregivers perceived as ill by the significant other would be seen as needing and receiving more social support as reported by the significant other Findings indicated that healthy caregivers were perceived to have significantly more people in their social network