this objective of this quantitative, cross-sectional, exploratory, and descriptive study was to verify active aging according to its determinants among the older elderly in a rural county of santa catarina, brazil. data was collected between july and august of 2009 through interviews with 87 male and female elderly who were 80 years old or older, using a checklist elaborated from the active aging determinants. descriptive analyses were performed on the data along with descriptive measurements of centrality and dispersion. results showed gender parity; the majority of the subjects were caucasian catholics with low incomes and education levels. even retired, 60.92% continue exercising work activities; 70.11% have their own houses; 48.28% attend group environments; 81.61% are satisfied with their lives; and 48.28% do not depend on a caregiver. we conclude that even without reaching all of the active aging determinants, these elderly maintain their independence, autonomy, and ensure their quality of life.