Objective: To compare the care needs and severity of psychosocial problems in older patients with severe mental illness (SMI) between those who were and were not motivated for treatment.Methods: Cross-sectional study in which we enrolled 141 outpatients with SMI aged 55 and older. Needs were measured using the Camberwell Assessment of Needs for the Elderly, and psychosocial problems with the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale 65+. Motivation for treatment was assessed using a motivation-for-change scale. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used to analyze differences between motivated and non-motivated patients. Explorative logistic regression analyses were used to establish, which unmet needs were associated with motivation.Results: Less-motivated patients had greater unmet care needs and more psychosocial problems than those who were motivated. Logistic regression analyses showed that lack of motivation was associated with greater unmet needs regarding daytime activities, psychotic symptoms, behavioral problems, and addiction problems.Conclusions: Lack of treatment motivation was associated with more unmet needs and more severe psychosocial problems. Further research will be needed to identify other factors associated with motivation in older people with SMI and to investigate whether this group of patient benefits from interventions such as assertive outreach, integrated care or treatment-adherence therapy.