Indeed, with hindsight I can see that some of the more extreme paranoid symptoms of dementia can induce behaviours we might otherwise consider to be abusive: intense jealousy, possessiveness, and separation anxiety, leading to the carer’s effective imprisonment in the home and isolation from other family and friends; false accusations of wrong-doing that undermine confidence; round-the-clock harassment by phone, and sleep deprivation; denial of the carer’s own needs and objective reality, leading to a negation of identity. Ray Carver told how frightened she had been by her husband's out-of-character aggression.
NB: For an important new ruling on information sharing in health and social care, which may assist family carers in discussing concerns with professionals, see The Information Governance Review, March 2013, pg. 119, Principle 7: "The duty to share information can be as important as the duty to protect patient confidentiality. Health and social care professionals should have the confidence to share information in the best interests of their patients, within the framework set out by the Principles."
See also a new document published by Carers Trust and the Royal College of Nursing on the Triangle of Care - the best practice partnership between people with dementia, their family carers, and health and social care professionals.
* The Carers' Call to Action was a time-limited campaign to raise awareness of dementia carer issues; it was wound down at the end of March 2015, but its work continues through a new organisation, Tide.
Update 2019: A new charity, Dementia Carers Count, has been set up specifically to support family dementia carers, offering 3-day residential courses for respite, education on dementia, coping strategies, practical, legal and financial information-sharing, resilience-building, and peer support. These courses currently take place in hotels in Birmingham and Swindon (prior to opening of a national resource centre in 2020), and are free at point of attendance (with donations welcomed toward the next intake, on a pay-it-forward scheme). More details on link above.
Dementia UK Admiral Nurses and their helpline also offer support, as does UK Alzheimer's Society and its online Talking Point forum (peer support).