In Denmark, formal services are viewed as a right to be used by any member of that society who is in need of assistance, premised upon a societal model of mutual self-help. The focus here is on the dual themes of philosophical consistency and of transition in the formal system of services and delivery of care in Denmark. Denmark's system centers on meeting the basic needs of the elderly while enabling individuals to retain control over decisions regarding their own lives. It was effective during the economically expansive period of the 1960s and 1970s, but became less effective during the 1980s. Because of the economic necessity of cutting back on budgets, the national government has in fact attempted to define and redirect available choices in service delivery. The dual themes of consistency and dynamism are demonstrated through the case of a rural municipality in northwest Jutland during the prosperous period into the more economically limited period of the last decade and the present. Implications for informal social support and relationships between the aged and their families, friends, and neighbors in Denmark are explored.