New surveillance technologies have in later years been introduced in care for older people as part of a broader policy agenda of ‘sustainable’ welfare state retrenchment, promoting ideals of self-sufficiency and empowerment of older people ‘ageing in place’. Drawing on newer approaches to surveillance studies, this article explores care workers’ active labour in creating (in)visibility in a complex and ongoing process of tinkering, while negotiating political rationales of empowerment and professional accountability. Hence, visibilities are conceived as coded, reflecting different ideals and rationales. Based on extensive fieldwork in Danish eldercare, we analyse two forms of surveillance: virtual homecare and sensor-flooring, where clients are involved and positioned in different ways in accomplishing surveillance. We illuminate how the process of accomplishing (in)visibility does not only involve tinkering with technology, but also with spatial arrangements in the client’s home, and with clients’ behaviour. Consequently, we underscore how tinkering may turn out to be a difficult and even conflictual task of negotiating professional authority and accountability in ways that resonate with clients’ sense of autonomy and policy ideals of empowerment. Our studies underline how the power dynamics of surveillance in care should not be overlooked, even though they are continuously negotiated in care practices.