Sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a life-altering experience and impact a person’s cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being. In the aftermath of a TBI, choosing the right TBI rehabilitation in California can significantly enhance recovery. Fortunately, California has some of the best brain injury programs in the country. This guide will explore the various types of rehabilitation programs available and offer tips for selecting the best one for your needs.

brain injury programs

What Are the Different Types of TBI Treatment Centers in California?

Brain injury treatment centers in California fall into subtypes tailored to a patient’s needs. Here are some of the major categories of programs available in California.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs

Designed for patients requiring intensive rehabilitation and medical care, these brain injury programs typically occur in a hospital setting and offer 24/7 care. Inpatient rehabilitation programs last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the brain injury.

Day Programs

Day rehabilitation programs provide intensive rehabilitation services throughout the day, but patients return home at night and on weekends. Day programs may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other services and are ideal for individuals who require intensive rehabilitation but not 24/7 medical care.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs

Outpatient programs are ideal for patients who do not need intensive medical care but still need rehabilitation. They typically require that patients visit the facility for a set amount of treatment hours and return home afterward. Outpatient rehabilitation programs may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other treatments.

Home-Based Rehabilitation Programs

Designed for individuals whose brain injury has left them housebound, these programs provide in-home rehabilitation, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other services.

Community-Based Rehabilitation Programs

These programs offer rehabilitation services and support that help patients regain their independence and participate in community activities. Community-based rehabilitation depends on the patient’s needs and may include vocational and social skills training.

To locate a reputable rehabilitation facility, ask your hospital social worker, treating physicians, and family doctor for recommendations. You can also contact the California State Brain Injury Association or visit the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) site, which has an online search function where you can look up rehab programs in your area. 

What Factors Should I Consider When Looking for a Brain Injury Program?

When choosing a rehabilitation program, it’s essential to consider and ask questions about the following topics.

Patient Need

Brain injuries can affect individuals in different ways, so it’s essential to identify the areas where the patient needs the most help and to choose a program specializing in treating the patient’s type of brain injury.  

Facility Accreditation

Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific standards for quality and safety. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is the most widely recognized accrediting body for rehabilitation programs. A program with CARF accreditation has undergone a rigorous evaluation and is committed to providing the highest quality care.

Staff Accreditation

Check staff credentials, including for therapists, nurses, and physicians. Proper credentials help ensure they are experienced and trained to work with brain injury patients.


Since family and friends’ support during rehab is a priceless motivator, you want a program close to home. This will make it easier for family and friends to visit and get involved.

Staff Variety

A good rehabilitation facility should employ a board-certified physiatrist or neurologist, a neuropsychologist or a rehabilitation psychologist, and physical, occupational, speech, recreational, and vocational therapists. It should also include a rehabilitation nurse to assist with therapy homework, a clinical dietitian, and a case manager who can deal with health insurers.


The program should have appropriate space, equipment, and technology to support rehabilitation. Amenities that will make the patient’s stay more comfortable, such as home orientation suites, family conveniences, communal cafeterias, meditation rooms, and lounges, are also important. All facilities should be clean and conducive to recovery.

The Program’s Philosophy

Some programs focus on medical interventions. Others focus on holistic approaches like yoga and meditation. Choosing a program that matches your beliefs and preferences is essential to recovery.

Insurance Coverage

Check with your insurance provider to see what your plan covers and ensure it includes your chosen rehabilitation program.

Other important things to consider are whether patients are clean and well-kept, whether the food is appealing, and whether the staff is professional and compassionate. You can also search for reviews on the program’s website, social media, or healthcare review websites.

And remember, always ask questions when you tour a facility, no matter how excellent the program or its PR materials appear.

What Services Should I Look for in a Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program?

Every brain injury rehab program should offer, at the minimum, the following programs:

  • Physical therapy,
  • Occupational therapy,
  • Speech and language therapy,
  • Cognitive rehabilitation therapy,
  • Neuropsychology or rehabilitation psychology,
  • Access to a variety of medical specialists and types of doctors,
  • Recreational therapy,
  • Family counseling,
  • Social skills groups,
  • Vocational therapy, and
  • Patient and family education.

While choosing the right kind of treatment center may seem daunting at first, knowing what to look for, asking the right questions, and referring to your checklist will help ensure you find a solid brain injury rehabilitation program that suits your needs.

GJEL Accident Attorneys Can Help

At GJEL, our skilled legal advocates help injury victims regain their footing and get their lives on track. We provide compassionate and personalized representation to all our clients and will go to the mat to hold wrongdoers and insurance companies accountable. In our over 40 years of practice, we’ve recovered nearly $1 billion for injury victims while maintaining a 99% success rate. If someone else’s negligence injured you and you want the best personal injury attorneys Fresno has to offer, call GJEL today at 1-866-268-7118. We provide free case reviews and are available to talk with you 24/7.

Visit our office nearest to you.