Since the early 70s, Canada has had a public health care system that guarantees all Canadians universal access to hospital and medical services free of charge. The same values and principles have governed the organization of health and social services in Quebec, including long-term care and services. Over time, changes have occurred within the Quebec system in order to adapt services to new realities more effectively; such changes involve a diversification of services oriented towards helping individuals remain in the community, and services provided close to clients' own environments. Mechanisms have also been established to improve clinical assessment of clients' needs, in order to make service orientation and admission to residential facilities more systematic. Nonetheless, reform is required in order to respond to certain trends related to client needs, i.e., greater needs due to the significant increase in the number of older persons, but also needs that differ from those of a younger population, for whom the system was designed. The new Quebec policy on services for frail older persons advocates a different concept of organization of services for this population group and presupposes major changes in the ways in which services are delivered.