A purposive and convenience sample of 16 women and four men receiving informal and formal care for their activities of daily living either at home or institutions in Southeast Washington, USA was interviewed. Qualitative findings related to asking for help, getting and receiving help, interpersonal aspects of receiving help, and met and unmet needs are reported. Some seniors found it more difficult to ask for and accept help and there were gender differences, with men tending to adopt a more logical and pragmatic approach while women viewed receiving help as a loss of independence and an invasion of privacy. Intimacy and nudity were also threats for women. Three styles of adjustment and acceptance were identified within the data and related to positive acceptance, resigned acceptance and passive acceptance. There appeared to be a relationship between independence and control, with elders losing some independence but retaining control through choice, payment and involvement in decision making. Reciprocity was found to bring added value to relationships between care providers and elders, with a rhythm and symmetry developing in relationships where needs were known, anticipated and met. Seniors should be encouraged to plan for their future and to find out about local help and services available to them in advance of their requiring any assistance.