Subjective memory complaints (SMCs) are common among older adults, often causing significant distress and showing strong relationships to future cognitive decline. However, low rates of help-seeking for memory complaints are well documented. Little is known about the reasons behind the decision to seek or not to seek help with memory problems. The common-sense model of illness perception proposes that the beliefs people hold about their health underlie help-seeking behaviour. The present study investigated factors underlying the decision to seek help in people with SMCs within the framework of the common-sense model of illness perception.