Patients who were admitted to a rehabilitation unit in a somatic nursing home between 1.9.1987 and 31.12.1988 were interviewed approximately 19 months (mean) after discharge with respect to how they functioned at home and their quality of life. Demographic data, diagnoses and level of functioning at admission and upon discharge were collected from the medical records. 134 patients were admitted, 99 of whom were discharged to their home, 20 transferred to long-term care in an institution, 12 died and three were transferred to hospital. The study comprises 86 patients who were available for an interview at follow up. In 20% of these patients new diagnoses were made, which were of clinical importance. The level of functioning improved during period of treatment, but at follow up had declined, particularly in the case of stroke patients. Demented patients were more liable to be placed in an institution, as were unmarried or widowed persons and people unable to prepare their own meals. Family contact and the ability to eat without help were significant for quality of life.