The aim of this study was to illuminate the meaning of receiving help from home nursing care for the chronically ill, elderly persons living in their homes. The study was carried out in Norway. Data were collected by narrative interviews and analysed by phenomenological hermeneutic interpretations. Receiving help from home nursing care sometimes meant 'Being ill and dependent on help'. Other times it meant 'Being at the mercy of help'. It could also mean 'Feeling inferior as a human being'. Sometimes help was given by nurses who were respectful and proficient at caring for an elderly person, while at other times nurses seemed to be incompetent and worked with a paternalistic attitude without respect for privacy. Receiving help also meant elderly persons wanted to be regarded and approached as equal human beings, supported in the courage to meet challenges in life.