Of the estimated 10,000 people annually who have a stroke in Ireland, about 7500 will continue to live with some residual disability. This study explored older people's perceptions of health, level of independence as well as the factors that enhanced or diminished ability to maintain quality of life after stroke. A grounded theory approach was used and 20 stroke survivors were interviewed. Analysis of the data revealed three main themes: concepts of health and independence, sense of loss, and environmental factors. Despite their disability most participants continued to have a positive concept of health. Participants overall adopted a functional approach toward independence and those with severe disabilities felt less independent. Many reported a profound sense of loss in terms of identity and role function. Environmental factors including availability of transport and social connections had a significant impact on quality of life. Most participants appeared to be struggling to adapt to their disability and subsequent experiences in a rather unsupportive environment.