This paper examines why many older people living in remote parts of northern Australia are unable to access appropriate, or in some cases, any care services to support ageing in place. Several major factors are identified from the research literature as impacting on what appears to be a neglect of support for ageing in northern regions of Australia. The first is geographical and population related challenges. The second is the Australian Government’s adoption of neoliberal market models in structuring its aged care service organisation and provision. The third factor is the dearth of model design fit-for-purpose to the needs of remote communities. An alternative grounded or ‘bottom up’ approach is proposed, based on evidence from a broad range of relevant research into remote communities, as well as local case studies in northern Australia. Findings from a case study are presented that further illuminate areas of neglect in supporting ageing in remote communities. A key argument based on these findings is for a more flexible funding base that approaches the design and management of services at a community rather than an individual level. Important themes emerging from this discussion include the uniqueness of need in each remote community; the critical importance of drawing on local understanding of the kind of resource needs that exist in a community before ‘rolling’ out support services, and finally; the capacity of local community members through volunteering, to stretch and adapt resources to solve practical problems associated with ageing in remote places.