Scabies is a frequent ectoparasitosis the prevalence of which also seems to increase in older patients. Correct and timely diagnosis of scabies in older age is hampered by atypical clinical manifestations, the potential lack of pruritus and a variety of differential diagnoses. Scabies crustosa, a highly contagious subtype due to the presence of innumerable mites, is of particular importance. It predominantly occurs in immunosuppressed patients as well as in mentally or physically disabled persons and is the most important source of scabies outbreaks in residential and nursing homes. This article reviews the diagnosis and treatment of scabies and the strategies for managing outbreaks with special reference to older patients.