"The paper presents preliminary qualitative and quantitative findings on the structure, meaning and experience of societal participation among community-dwelling older adults living alone (aged between 75-90 years). Socio-ecological gerontological research suggests that societal participation may evolve over the life course due to aspects of ageing and social change. However, very little is currently known about societal participation of very old persons, the fastest growing population segment in our ageing and individualising societies. This work is part of the European project “Enabling Autonomy, Well-Being and Participation in Old Age: The Home Environment as a Determinant for Healthy Ageing (ENABLE-AGE)”, funded by the European Commission. The main aim of the ENABLE-AGE project is to examine the home environment as a determinant for autonomy, participation, and well-being in very old age in five different European countries. A macro level update on housing policies integrates the knowledge generated by the longitudinal ENABLE-AGE Survey Study (N=1919) and the ENABLE-AGE In-Depth Studies (ca. N=200). The research presented here draws from quantitative survey data and 160 semi-structured interviews conducted in Germany, UK, Sweden and Hungary. Within the semi-structured interviews, specific attention was given to the relation of social and community participation and the immediate home environment Preliminary findings indicate that both active and "more passively oriented" forms of participation are very important for well-being and that participation depends on the psycho-social and physical relationship between the person and the environment. This research highlights the need to enable very old persons to make a valued contribution to society by ensuring barrier-free environments that encourage the connection between older people's needs / interests and those of wider society."