Older people (OP) living at home alone face several health risks. Health professionals are increasingly called upon to contribute to the prevention of these risks. In this article we to develop an analytical framework to look at volition to risk taking in the ordinary everyday activities of OP living at home alone. We conducted a qualitative study to explore how OP think about risk throughout their actions, how risk influences them in their activities and the place they give to risk in the ordinary activities of their daily lives. Twenty participants (twelve women, eight men) living alone at home in French-speaking Switzerland were interviewed using the specific explicitation interview method. Focusing on micro-action sequences, the participants were asked to convey their subjective experiences while performing these actions. Occupational and activity choices seem to always have underlying motivations rooted in a set of values, such as maintaining a sense of control over one’s own existence, competence (perceived self-efficacy), and identity congruence. Risk taking was closely associated with OP’s intimate volition to maintain their own personal trajectory. The way in which OP understand the risks they face in their daily lives and what they do to cope with these risks serves as an analytical tool for studying ageing. We consider that a more detailed understanding of which risks affect or benefit OP, and how, makes a valuable contribution to studies of ageing and to studies into the nature and role of risk in everyday life.