As people grow older in late life, their need for help with the activities of daily living increases. In Spain, those who need such help constitute about 20 per cent of the population aged 65 or more years. Support may be from formal care, informal care or both, and the type has different consequences for care receivers and their social networks. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between informal and formal care and the use of health services among older people in Spain. Using a sample of 1,148 respondents aged 65 or more years from the Spanish National Health Survey of 2003, we analysed the association between the sources of care (formal, informal, both, or no care) and the frequency of three types of health-care utilisation: hospitalisation, emergency services and medical consultations. After controlling for sex, age, level of difficulty in the activities of daily living, self-perceived health status, and social class, it was found that older people with disabilities who received neither informal nor formal care were more likely to consult physicians than those who received informal care, but that there were no significant relationships between the type of care and health-services utilisation. The findings provide new information about the consequences of the different types of care of older people with disabilities, and suggest specifically that informal care substitutes for some tasks usually done by health professionals.