Eighty-six elderly people with limited mobility and dependence in at least one activity of daily living were recruited to a home exercise study. The subjects (mean age 82 years) were allocated at random to either a strength exercise group, a mobility exercise group or a health education group. Subjects were visited for 30 minutes every 3-4 weeks by a physiotherapist who gave both verbal and written instruction. Sixty-nine of the original 86 completed the 6-month study, with five drop-outs from the strength group, ten drop-outs from the mobility group, and two drop-outs from the health education group. By the end of the study, there were no significant differences between the groups with regard to changes in outcome variables. The results showed a trend towards improvement in both the exercise groups in both Sit to Stand and Timed Get Up and Go tests, but this failed to attain statistical significance. Further work is required to identify the optimal exercise intervention for this subgroup of the elderly population.