Over the past 20 to 30 years, the importance of families as providers of assistance to older Canadians has been well documented through research. However, over these decades, the contexts within which families exist and provide support have changed considerably. This paper examines changes over this time period which affect family support to older adults. Specific areas examined include: likelihood of having a parent alive; living arrangements; divorce and single-parenthood; women's labour force participation, and combining employment and care of older relatives. The paper concludes with an assessment of policy changes in health and long-term care as these affect older Canadians and their families.