Meaningful social engagement in everyday activities can enhance resident quality of life in nursing homes. In this article, we draw on data collected in a multidisciplinary, international study exploring promising practices in long-term care homes across Canada, Norway, and Germany, to investigate conditions that either allow for or create barriers to residents’ social participation. Within a feminist political economy framework using a team-based rapid ethnography approach, observations and in-depth interviews were conducted with management, staff, volunteers, students, families, and residents. We argue that the conditions of work are the conditions of care. Such conditions as care home location, building layout, staffing levels, and work organization, as well as governing regulations, influence if and how residents can and do engage in meaningful everyday social life in/outside the nursing home. The presence of promising conditions that facilitate resident social participation, particularly those promoting flexibility and choice for residents, directly impacts their overall health and well-being.