AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This article aims to describe the content of person-centred care as described by people with dementia, family members and staff in residential aged care. BACKGROUND: Person-centred care is increasingly being regarded as synonymous with best quality aged care; however, studies exploring stakeholders' experiences of person-centred care are few. DESIGN: A qualitative explorative design was employed using conversational research interviews and content analysis. METHOD: Research interviews were conducted in 2007 and 2008 with staff working in aged care (n = 37), people with early onset dementia (n = 11), and family members of patients with dementia (n = 19) and were analysed using content analysis. RESULTS: The findings indicated that the core category of person-centred care was promoting a continuation of self and normality. Five content categories emerged as contributing to promoting a continuation of self and normality: knowing the person; welcoming family; providing meaningful activities; being in a personalised environment; and experiencing flexibility and continuity. CONCLUSIONS: This study describes person-centred care as it is understood by people with dementia, their family members and staff in residential aged care, and as such it contributes with inside perspectives to current understandings of person-centred care, perspectives that have been largely lacking. Relevance to clinical practice. The findings of this study are clinically relevant and ready to be operationalised and applied in clinical aged care. The categories can be used as a topic guide for discussions in aged care organisations on the quality of current care and as elements indicating how to increase the person-centredness of care provided.