Home care is one of the most important means of compensating for disabilities and ensuring continuity in people's daily functioning. Home care services in the Netherlands have recently been transferred from a national social security provision for long-term care to a local social service. In most other countries, home care has traditionally been part of locally organised long-term care. In this report we analyse the actual situation of the elderly: their disabilities, their resources and the care they receive. The European countries considered in this report differ from the Netherlands on a number of points. To some extent these differences can be explained by country-specific differences in age distribution, disabilities faced by the elderly, household composition and education level. However, country-specific differences remain after allowing for these factors. For example, in the Mediterranean countries the extended family bears primary responsibility for the care of relatives, while in the Scandinavian countries the government is primarily responsible. However, while social forces are in conflict with an increase in the provision of care by family members, politicians, especially in the Netherlands, are looking to families to provide more help.