Your elderly mother has been happily and successfully living on her own, so you’ve been able to avoid looking at nursing homes. Then she suffered a minor stroke, fell and broke her hip. She’s finishing up her hospital stay, and her doctor says she needs to spend some time in a senior rehab center, also known as a skilled nursing facility (SNF).

These facilities provide care like physical, speech and occupational therapy. People learn to tackle the activities of daily living (ADL) like eating, bathing and dressing with their new limitations, such as a wheelchair or not being able to use one of their arms. Patients may need in-patient care for a period before transitioning to outpatient care.

A good rehab center can substantially minimize the risk of someone having to be readmitted to the hospital, whether because they’ve suffered another injury or their condition has worsened. If your loved one will be living there for any period, you want to ensure that the facility has the staff and equipment that they need. Just as with a nursing home, you want to be sure that they’ll be safe and properly cared for.

If your loved one will no longer be able to live completely on their own, you may want to consider an assisted living facility that offers rehabilitation services. There, they can have some independence but also have access to the therapy and medical care they need.

However, not everyone is able to transition from a hospital to an assisted living facility right away. They need the round-the-clock care provided by a rehab center.

Sadly, as with anyplace where elderly, vulnerable people are cared for, SNFs can be the sites of abuse and neglect that can further harm already ill or injured patients. If you believe that your loved one has suffered harm at a rehabilitation center, talk with an experienced attorney. They can help you seek justice and compensation. By taking action, you can also potentially protect others from suffering the same fate.