This paper presents findings from a qualitative study that sought to identify what works well in supporting older people to live in their own homes and local communities. Drawing on data from six focus groups conducted with key stakeholders, including older people, carers, care managers and direct service providers, the shortcomings of existing services to meet the needs of older people are recognised and the paper seeks to move discusion forward to what might help improve provision. Examples identified during the focus groups are explored and highlight the importance of enabling older people to maintain community connections and draw on existing community facilities. To be effective, support needs to be underpinned by a person‐centred approach which takes into account individual preferences and priorities, and is organised locally to where older people live. Statutory organisations are often constrained by restrictive thinking and financial pressures lead to resourcecentred rather than person‐centred responses to individuals in need. Our findings suggest that commissioners of services should be more creative in developing flexible providers in local communities and that we consider approaches that may be helpful in achieving this and transforming support arrangements. The potential of an action research programme to explore the ideas raised and enable processes for development, outcomes for older people, their carers and the communities in which they live, as well as the costs, to be tested comparatively with traditional services is noted. The importance of capacity building and investment in the independent sector and other community partners is critical to achieving change.