Over half of the residents in long-term care have a diagnosis of dementia. Maintaining quality of life is important, as there is no cure for dementia. Quality of life may be used as a benchmark for caregiving, and can help to enhance respect for the person with dementia and to improve care provision. The purpose of this study was to describe quality of life as reported by people living with dementia in long-term care in terms of the influencers of, as well as the strategies needed, to improve quality of life.A descriptive exploratory approach. A subsample of twelve residents across two Australian states from a national quantitative study on quality of life was interviewed. Data were analysed thematically from a realist perspective. The approach to the thematic analysis was inductive and data-driven.Three themes emerged in relation to influencers and strategies related to quality of life: (a) maintaining independence, (b) having something to do, and (c) the importance of social interaction.The findings highlight the importance of understanding individual resident needs and consideration of the complexity of living in large group living situations, in particular in regard to resident decision-making.