A new panel which will re-consider care for the over-65s in Cornwall has been set up by the council and given five months complete its work.
The panel was set after councillors were given figures showing the county spent significantly less per head than some other authorities.
The single-issue panel has to report its findings in November.
Armand Toms, cabinet member for adult care and support, said some difficult decisions would have to be made.
The panel is planning to meet again in a few weeks to take evidence from private sector providers of care services.
Members then want to go on a fact-finding trip to a few care centres in the county and beyond before writing a report which will then form the new strategy.
A report to the council said it was spending £179 per head per year, which was much less than other authorities in the south west of England and nearly four times less than one council in London.
In the south west, Somerset County Council spends £212. The City of London spend-per-head is £709, the report said.
Mr Toms said there would have to be further debate at the council if recommendations were made to increase spending.
"We are heading for difficult times nationally. But, locally, we're heading for probably even harder times," he said.
"The biggest problem is that we haven't got enough money in the pot at the moment.
"We need to have more money, but we also need to work within the budget that we've got."
Cornwall Council is having to make budget cuts of £100m over the next four years.