Purpose - Given age-related dwindling of competencies and eventual necessity of home-based nursing care in the home of elderly people, this study shows the spatial and social implications with reference to the person-environment fit. Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative approach has been chosen in order to conduct a penetrative single case analysis whose multiplicity permits a socially realistic description of the specific research context. Eleven members of staff from six different care organisations based in Austria were asked about these circumstances within the framework of expert interviews, supported by interview guidelines and recorded with an electronic device. The transcribed interviews were analysed using Qualitative Content Analysis according to Mayring (2008).Findings - The results emphasise the special significance of the person-environment fit for the context of home-based nursing care for the elderly and the particular demands made on their homes. Facing decreased personal competencies, especially missing barrier-free elements in the dwelling have been criticised. The recommendation of home adaption measures, improvisation and the refusal of the assignment of home-based care belong to the strategies the research group undergoes. Furthermore, the results show an enhancement of the person-environment fit. Besides proving room for living, the dwelling has to fulfil further functions because it is now the epicentre for the provision of home-based care. The results illustrate that attention should be directed on the private and individual context of the person.Originality/value - The study at hand, building on existing research results, adds the perspective of health care workers with regard to home-based care of the elderly.