This paper reviews current policies and practices regarding the provision of long‐term care for older people. In particular it focuses on three aspects which are central to social work and care management: current developments in residential and nursing home care; charging for care; and the shifting boundary between health and social care. It argues that, in all respects, these policies and the ways in which they are being implemented are incompatible with the notion of social justice. Over the last fifty years, the older generation has invested heavily in the welfare state and continues to make a significant contribution to it. The security and well‐being of those in need of long‐term care is, however, being threatened by the marketization and commodification of care provision.