As in many other countries, in the Netherlands, too, the field of housing and care for the elderly has seen almost revolutionary changes over a period of less than twenty years. Key concepts are the prolonging of independence, upgrading of the housing function in institutional settings, and individualised care. By substituting residential care for home care and assisted living, the authorities try to reduce the number of people over 65 living in either a home for the elderly (6.8%) or a nursing home (2.9%) to an average of 5%. Home care is upgraded by improving the co_ordination of the care offered and the funds made available by recently introduced Acts of Parliament. Institutional settings have widened their scope and offer now also so_called 'extramural' care to people living outside these institutions. Architectural measures in mass housing aim to improve its accessibility and useability for all age groups, including elderly people and people with physical disabilities. These developments have cut across the lines separating four strictly defined segments, each with their own target groups and standardised provisions. This has resulted in a differentiated offering of combinations of housing and care for the elderly. The main drives for these developments are cost control and the desire of a large number of elderly people to remain independent as long as possible. This article addresses the architectural, financial and organisational measures taken to reshape the traditional system. Some innovative projects are highlighted in order to demonstrate the reflection of changing policies and new care concepts in the spatio-functional layout. The article is concluded with a summarised assessment of the experiences with these projects.