With demographic ageing, political activity of older people is increasingly becoming relevant to political science. However, little is known about the possibility of and rationale for politicisation in later life. This article uses in-depth qualitative interviews with older first-time participants in a successful protest against the closure of a charity-run day centre to investigate how and when such politicisation might occur. We find that in response to perceived extreme threat, and provided with high levels of support, frail older people with low levels of early politicisation actively participated in a protest that ultimately prevented closure of their day centre. Furthermore, older people are not a weak population, but were able to use their frailty as political tools for shaming decision-makers. The study reveals that despite low political activity throughout life, politicisation can be triggered for the first time in later life. Three key aspects are highlighted: (1) in spite of poor health, perceived threat seems an essential driver to politicisation; (2) supporters and carers act as an essential determinant to catalyse politicisation in this group; (3) older people are capable of adapting their claim-making performances, including shaming strategies, to achieve the best outcomes, thus illustrating their potential power.