Aim To verify the effect of in‐home rehabilitation on quality of life and activities of daily living in elderly clients. Methods In this non‐randomized controlled intervention trial, elderly participants were separated into a rehabilitation or a non‐rehabilitation group (n = 100 each). The non‐rehabilitation group received basic in‐home nursing care, including assistance with cooking, cleaning, toileting, meals and medication. The rehabilitation group received a physical treatment program provided by a licensed professional once a week and basic nursing care in the home. For each group, quality of life and activities of daily living were assessed approximately every 3 months over a 1‐year period. Quality of life was evaluated using the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale, and activities of daily living were evaluated based on the Functional Independence Measure. Results The rehabilitation group showed statistically significant improvements in both quality of life and activities of daily living. In contrast, the non‐rehabilitation group, although showing slight improvement in quality of life at 9 months, showed almost no effects at the other time‐points and no significant changes in activities of daily living over the course of the study. Conclusions The results of the present study suggest that long‐term continuous in‐home rehabilitation might improve quality of life and activities of daily living in elderly clients. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; ••: ••–••.