This paper presents results from a comparative project on the implementation of elder-care in France and Sweden. The transition to requiring care is understood as a process, and elder-care is seen as a part of a more general organisation of social care that reflects different welfare traditions. An overview of elder-care on the institutional level in the two countries is supplemented by case studies from the perspective of older people which identify ways of co-operation between actors, such as public eldercare providers, family members and help provided by profit and non-profit organisations. The interviews include approximately 20 older persons in each country as well as a small number of administrators and adult children. The study sheds light on how policies are implemented on the local level and puts the focus on who actually does what and when for older persons with care needs. The different roles played by the state, the family, the market and civil society are examined. Family members in France take on a more active role both as co-ordinators of care and as actual caregivers. The study shows that gender and social class remain associated with caring but that such differences are much larger in France than in Sweden.