The right place can make all the difference.

When looking for a rehabilitation facility, there are many things to consider. Here are some basic steps to help you choose the right place for you:

1. Get referrals. When looking at a program, speak with families and individuals with brain injuries who have been through the program. Keep an open mind and remember that personal preferences and needs vary from family to family.

2. Consider location. Location should be just one of the many factors you consider in regard to a specialized head trauma program. If a nearby program isn't familiar with brain injury, it may be well worth the effort to travel an extra 50 or 100 miles. Only you can determine that after you've considered all the options.

3. Schedule a visit and tour. Don't hesitate to ask any facility for a tour and private consultation to answer any questions you may have. Take time after visiting each program to look at how closely the existing program meets your priorities and criteria.

4. Look for expertise. It's crucial that every professional (doctors, nurses, and other staff members) working with you have expertise in head injury. They must understand the cognitive (thinking and reasoning) needs as well as physical needs of the individual. And there should be a team approach to treatment and planning.

5. Trust your opinions. Your opinions will continue to be the most important criteria in locating the best long-term care that you can.