Based on the findings of a cross-cultural study, this paper aims (a) to explore changes in the current life situations and attitudes of the Turkish elderly toward institutional living in terms of age, sex, and urbanization; and (b) by way of comparison with the Swedish case, to assess the generalizability of the findings within a cross-cultural perspective. Indepth interviews were carried out with 448 Turkish males and females (55-71 years) residing in small towns, cities, and metropolitan areas. The comparative Swedish sample consisted of 502 males and females between the ages of 60 and 71. Compared to Swedes, Turks had more frequent social contacts but reported feeling lonelier and more negatively about aging and their lives. Relative to Swedes, Turkish respondents were less favorable toward institutional living but became more favorable with age and urbanization. Unlike in Sweden, in Turkey an institution becomes an acceptable last resort for those who have fewer social contacts and feel lonelier and more negatively about aging and their lives.