The main aim was to study the predictive power of sense of coherence regarding future needs of care among elderly patients evaluated as medically ready for discharge from somatic emergency care. A secondary aim was to study the consistency of sense of coherence over time among patients with this kind of experience. The sample consisted of 53 Swedish patients (mean age 82.8 years, SD = 6.6 years) who had completed their medical treatment at surgical or orthopaedic departments. The predominant diagnosis was lower limb fractures. Sense of coherence was assessed twice, on the day the patient was evaluated as medically ready for discharge and 1 month later. On the second assessment occasion, 28 patients had returned to their homes, 17 were staying at institutions, and eight had died. Patients who returned to their homes reported the strongest sense of coherence while still in hospital. Patients who were staying at institutions scored lowest on the overall sense of coherence scale and on the comprehensibility subscale. Patients who died before the second measurement occasion scored lowest on the meaningfulness subscale. A correlation of 0.51 was noted between the two assessments of sense of coherence, indicating a moderate temporal consistency.