Open access. Among all cancer patients in the palliative phase, ¾ have reached the age of 65. An aging population will increase the number of people afflicted with cancer, and create challenges for patients, family members and health services. Nevertheless, limited research has focused explicitly on the experiences and needs of older cancer patients in the palliative phase and their families. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore what older home dwelling cancer patients in the palliative phase and their close family members, as individuals and as a family, experience as important and difficult when facing the health services.