Currently the majority of the world's elderly reside in less developed countries and their proportion is increasing. This paper presents evidence that the process of modernization can have a negative impact on the elderly in even the most remote rural Third World settings, even though those settings are not modernized or in the process of modernization in any of the normal uses of that concept. Fieldwork was conducted in Helambu, Nepal on a sample of 37 persons over the age of 50 that included 86% of population aged 60 and over. Despite high levels of activity, health, social and economic status, the elderly were greatly dissatisfied with their situation. The paper demonstrates the manner in which modernization in India has profoundly changed household/family organization in Helambu and produced this situation.