The objective of the longitudinal study was to monitor physical and cognitive changes in a population of 330 older people being supported at home by health services. The participants were 75 years and older and classified as having moderate-to-high needs. A total of 210 primary informal carers were recruited to determine their specific needs and how they coped as dependency levels of their care-recipients changed. Data were collected using six different tools. Two questionnaires were mailed out to participating carers. Assessments of care recipients were carried out at three sampling points over the study period. The clients showed a significant increase in physical dependency and an overall increase in cognitive impairment over time. Only 32% of carers lived with care recipients, and changes in dependency, cognitive changes, lack of respite and performing activities of daily living were all major stressors for informal carers. The needs of informal carers are reported and discussed in the context of recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada.