General evidence exists that health promotion and disease prevention have only lasting effects when target groups participate actively on their own premises and within their own goals. In Copenhagen, an interdisciplinary project in three phases has been established focusing on how health professionals can work on the active participation of elderly people in the community. The first phase has just finished and proves a conceptual confusion in relation to health promotion and disease prevention. Furthermore, it seems that these issues are very often implicit and „just something you do“. It is generally experienced that participation and responsibility for one’s own life are important, but these factors are not used as independent goals. A positive relationship is also proved to be of the utmost importance in successful intervention. This means that knowledge of risk factors is not used if it is considered that an elderly person could perceive it as criticism.