After surgery to treat a serious injury or medical condition, recovery often requires time in a rehabilitation center. But what happens if the place that was supposed to help you get better leaves you with more injuries?

Rehabilitation centers are often a part of nursing home facilities and may have specially trained nursing staff and physical therapists to aid in your recovery. Special training, however, does not protect patients from negligence or abuse and even a short stay can lead to frustrating, lifelong injuries.

Watching out for yourself

Unlike the “typical” patient in a nursing facility, someone going through rehab to recover from a procedure or illness is often much more alert and fully able to communicate. However, during this short stay, which can last for a few days or a few weeks, these patients are physically vulnerable. They and their families, must trust that their caretakers will do what is best for them.

Even so, if you or a loved one are in rehab, you have the right to understand — and be an active partner in directing — your treatment. You absolutely can:

  • Request a daily schedule
  • Ask questions about your treatment
  • Refuse to do a treatment without knowing what it’s for
  • Communicate with whomever you wish
  • Have privacy when requested

While yes, sometimes a person needs assistance with basic hygiene at the beginning of treatment, being refused access to privacy or basic information is troubling. If your request for something as simple as privacy during a call to a family member is not respected, what will happen if you get injured?

Furthermore, if your loved one comes home from rehab with a severe change in personality and unexplained injuries, you can and should demand answers from the facility.

Taking immediate action

Anyone in a rehabilitation center is there to get better, not worse. If you or a loved one leave rehab with new injuries either from negligence or abuse, you deserve representation. You deserve to be heard.