Addressing the under utilisation of respite services in caregivers of people with dementia is an important task to improve social support amongst this vulnerable group. This paper utilises theory to conceptualise the behavioural, normative and control beliefs that caregivers of people with dementia associate with the use of out of home day centers for respite. Interviews and focus groups with 36 caregivers were undertaken to explore the beliefs of both users and non-users of services. Whilst service users held positive beliefs, non - users perceived negative outcomes for the care recipient with dementia, or faced barriers associated with their behavioural or physical needs. To address negative perceptions, nurses may need to promote the benefits of day centers for both caregiver and care recipient. However, improvements in program activities and environments, staff development and caregiver support are also required to address negative beliefs and meet the needs of those currently not accessing care.