Last years' reforms affected in an extremely different way the Swedish and the Italian elderly care systems, even if these reforms had been apparently inspired by the same "watchwords". In the article the comparison of the effects of these reforms assumes a "broad" definition of care: the reciprocal interrelations between market, state and family are underlined together with their transformations caused by the introduction of the recent reforms. In the 90s the Italian and the Swedish welfare state experienced a further step towards the decentralization of responsibilities on elderly care: in both countries responsibilities for the provision of home care services have been transferred to the municipalities. In the same time, both countries experienced a trend towards the marketization and the informalization of elderly care with a growing importance of private and non profit providers and of family solidarities. However, even after the introduction of these reforms, a substantial confirmation of the differences between the "family ideologies" that historically distinguished the Swedish and Italian welfare states can still be found rather than an evidence of a convergence of their elderly care systems.