OBJECTIVE(S): The study aimed to investigate the lived experiences of older people with lifelong intellectual disability and to explore the meaning of active ageing for this group. METHODS: Data were collected using semistructured interviews with 16 service users (people with lifelong intellectual disability aged 50+ years); 16 service providers and 16 key informal network members from regional/rural and urban areas in Queensland and Victoria. RESULTS: Themes identified: being empowered, being actively involved, having a sense of security, maintaining skills and learning, having congenial living arrangements, having optimal health and fitness, being safe and feeling safe and having satisfying relationships and support. CONCLUSIONS: Service users wanted to 'keep on keeping-on' in areas of life that gave them pleasure rather than discontinuing them because of age. They wanted more control over issues affecting their lives and to be given meaningful roles. Mental stimulation, companionship, reliable support and safety were valued by this group.