Notions of citizenship in old age the participatory society: an analysis of ‘voor elkaar in parkstad’ to be able to face the challenges within care for older adults, local governments and organisations in the field of housing, welfare and healthcare in ‘parkstad’ have decided to join forces. The encouragement of citizenship, own responsibility and own strength are core elements. Old age is often associated with dependency, not with citizenship. This article investigates the question how notions of citizenship in old age are actually constructed by older adults and by local decision makers and directors. This study took place in the context of a healthcare innovation by older adults and by, namely the development of a lifecycle robust neighbourhood in parkstad. The analysis of documents, interviews, observations and focus groups, helps to sketch how directors construct citizenship and participation in an institutional perspective, while older adults use their own daily environment as a perspective. The findings demonstrate how institutions and older adults speak different languages. Within the institutional perspective the emphasis is laid on how older adults should claim less, be more independent and should have fewer entitlements. Older adults talk about how they love to live independent and be active, but also that they have deserved to live their lives at a slower pace, if they would like to.