One in 15 Australians over 65 experience dementia, and are commonly supported by spouses. Evidence demonstrates declining wellbeing for these caregivers as their role continues. There are indications of improvement once caregivers transition out of the role (recovery) but alternate suggestions that caregiving stress may be too damaging to be appeased (wear and tear). It seems plausible that reason for transition (care recipient’s move into residential care or death) will affect caregivers’ outcomes. A synthetic cohort method compared caregivers’ stress and wellbeing prior to, and one and two years post-transition. There was evidence of wear and tear for physical wellbeing but recovery for psychological wellbeing over time; with little difference based on reason for transition. Caregiver outcomes seem to be a function of the action rather than the reason for transition, but factors such as age must be considered when designing methods to support post-transition wellbeing.