In Germany the current population structure is characterized by a high proportion of elderly people. This proportion will continue to rise in the future. With the aging of the population the morbidity and the need for ambulatory and, in particular, stationary health care will increase. In order to ensure an appropriate supply for the elderly, it is, among other things necessary to consider the older patients' subjective positive and negative experiences with the health care system. In this paper, the experiences of elderly patients with hospitalisation are presented. In four hospitals 123 patients at the age of 59 to 90 years were asked about their experiences with the stay. For this study a new instrument was developed and applied. Practicability of the new instrument, an oral interview, could be demonstrated. Patients expressed predominantly positive experiences, some aspects of care, however, were judged critically. Furthermore, in the experiences of older patients significant sex-specific differences were seen. Age-specific and disease-specific differences were less pronounced.