Provision of services for older people is now a priority for policy makers, not least because of population aging precipitating a ‘demographic revolution’. In England, one response by policy-makers has been a National Service Framework, designed to provide standards and models for the care of older people. Furthermore, recent moves to create strategic partnership agreements between the Department of Health, the NHS and the Voluntary and Community Sector point to increasing awareness of the interconnections between health and social care. However, even when services are in place, older people do not always use them. Understanding why this might be the case is key to further service planning and implementation.