Your rehabilitation experience

Making the most of rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is a unique journey. You arrive with individual needs, goals and expectations. You progress at your own speed, learn new skills and strategies and overcome personal challenges. Your Kessler team is there to guide you and provide care and treatment to help you rebuild your life.
Patient in wheelchair works with therapist using a ball to help range of motion skills rehabilitation

Getting started

Understanding the rehabilitation process will help you and your family feel comfortable and confident as you begin treatment.

  • We will partner with you to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. This creates a care environment that is responsive to your needs, expectations and future goals. If there is anything we can do to enhance your stay, please let us know.

    You and your family members are encouraged to ask questions. We will help you understand what to expect from your rehabilitation experience from the time you begin to the day you leave -- and in the months and years to follow.

  • You will be greeted by our admissions team who will make every effort to assign and get you settled into your room quickly.

    Although we coordinate the many details of your transfer to Kessler Institute with your referring physician, case manager, insurance carrier and acute care hospital, we will still need to obtain some information and signatures from you or a designated family member. We will also provide you with important documents and information about your rights and responsibilities as a Kessler patient.

    Members of your treatment team will meet with you soon after your arrival to orient you to the rehabilitation process and familiarize you with our hospital campus, policies and programs.

    NOTE: care-related interpreter services are available free of charge for patients with limited English proficiency.

  • Shortly after your arrival, you’ll meet with a number of people who help direct your care and treatment.

    • You will be evaluated by your Kessler physician, physical, occupational and/or speech therapists, rehabilitation nurses, dietitians and others, as needed.
    • Please inform your Kessler physician about any prescription or non-prescription medications you take regularly, including dosage, frequency and the condition for which it is prescribed. Please speak with your Kessler physician before bringing any medications from home.
    • A copy of your drug regimen is provided on admission. We will review it with you so everyone involved in your care clearly understands your needs. Your Kessler physician will prescribe and monitor any additional medications required during your stay.
    • Based on your individual needs and rehabilitation goals, you will receive a detailed therapy schedule and information about equipment, recreational activities and other services.
    • You will meet your case manager who helps coordinate your stay and plan for discharge. Your length of stay is determined by the rehabilitation team and based on your needs, goals and progress.
    • Food and nutrition services will provide a menu for your meal selections. Assistance will be provided to those with special dietary needs. (See “meeting your nutritional needs” below.)
  • Your care and safety are important.Our security staff helps ensure everyone’s safety.

    Please help us maintain a safe environment by following the guidelines posted throughout our hospital. This includes:

    • Asking a staff member for assistance when you need to get in or out of bed or a wheelchair, or use the bathroom.
    • Making sure that everyone washes their hands before and after any interaction and/or uses the hand sanitizers that are located throughout our hospital.
    • Having family and friends check with a nurse before bringing any food or beverages to you in case there are dietary restrictions.

    Please leave any valuables, jewelry, credit cards, checkbooks or large amounts of cash at home. If you need to have certain items available to you, speak with a member of

  • If you wear eyeglasses or a hearing aid, please place them in a marked container in the top drawer of your nightstand when not in use to avoid losing them. If you wear dentures, ask the nurse for a denture cup; never leave dentures wrapped in a tissue or on your meal tray.  Kessler is not be responsible for loss or damage of eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures or orthodontic equipment.
    Phone, television and internet service is provided free of charge. 
    To keep your clothing and personal items clean, please set up a laundry schedule with family members or friends. Laundry services may be available through your Kessler campus. Check with a staff member for more information.

  • It takes a dedicated team of rehabilitation specialists, along with support and administrative staff, to ensure quality care, treatment and individual progress. You and the team of doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists and neuropsychologists, dietitians, pharmacists, case managers and others, will work closely to reach your rehabilitation goals. To learn more about your team, click here.

    In addition, at Kessler’s West Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester campuses, you may have the opportunity to work with one of our canine companions. These specially trained dogs provide for motivation and comfort, engaging patients in various activities that support the rehabilitation process.

  • Rehabilitation involves hard work, patience and determination. It can be demanding, physically and emotionally, but the more you put into your program, the more you are likely to benefit. •

    • Treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation by your physical and occupational therapists. They will assess your abilities, identify any deficits and review your medical and personal history. A speech language pathologist (speech therapist) may also be involved, if you have any communication difficulties.
    • Based on this information, your team will work with you and your family to establish goals and develop an individualized treatment plan combining the most effective therapies, technologies and support services.
    • You will participate in an intensive rehabilitation program for a minimum of three hours per day, five days a week or 15 hours per week as tolerated. Additional therapy sessions will be scheduled as warranted. Sessions generally occur between 9 a.m. – noon and 1 - 4 p.m.
    • The skills and strategies you acquire will be reinforced by your nursing staff for self-care (bathing, grooming, etc.) and recreation therapists through a wide range of leisure and social activities.
    • Your progress and treatment plan will be carefully monitored and updated to help you reach your goals.

    Open communication between you and your team is critical. Ask questions, express any concerns, share your feelings and seek information or support whenever needed.

  • The support of family and friends is important to the rehabilitation process and we encourage visitation. Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Parking at our hospital campuses is free.

    During their hospital stay, patients have the right to receive visitors and designate who may or may not visit. This includes but is not limited to a spouse, domestic partner, other family members or friends. Visitation rights are not restricted, limited, or denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

    You may want to arrange visits around your therapy schedule, so that you can enjoy them freely. Family members and other visitors are not permitted in therapy gyms or treatment areas unless they have been specifically invited to participate in a training session. 

    All visitors must respect the privacy and rehabilitation needs of all patients. We do not permit more than two visitors in a room at one time. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

  • Education and training are also essential to your rehabilitation. You and your family are encouraged to participate in family observation sessions, hands-on training and other activities to help prepare for your safe and timely discharge. Diagnosis-specific literature, personalized instruction sheets, exercise programs and other resources may be provided.

    Kessler hosts several important support groups and peer-to-peer programs. During these meetings, patients, former patients and their families discuss common concerns, learn from others experiences and find strength in knowing they’re not alone. 

  • Rehabilitation requires energy and effort so it’s important that your nutritional needs are being met.

    Most patients choose their menu daily from a wide range of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Based on your individual needs and preferences, our registered dietitians will help prepare an appropriate meal plan, including low- or no-sodium, low cholesterol, low calorie, or gluten-free options. Vegetarian, kosher, halal and other special diets can be accommodated. Recommendations for supplements, texture modifications and other adaptations will be made as warranted.  

    While family and friends are welcome to bring you meals and treats, ask them to first check with your nurse to make sure you have no dietary restrictions.  

  • Many patients find their religion or cultural beliefs to be a great source of hope and healing, particularly at this time. To help meet these needs, we offer many non-denominational services and events. Please check with the recreation therapy department for details. In addition, your family's spiritual counselor is always welcome to meet with you during regular visiting hours.
  • Our recreation therapy department offers a wide range of activities to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being of our patients.

    This includes, but is not limited to, creative arts, gardening, music and dance, board games and puzzles, electronic gaming and cooking, as well as movie nights and holiday events. Adaptive sports, such as wheelchair basketball, tennis and softball, hand cycling, golf, power soccer and quad rugby are introduced. In addition, trips to local restaurants, stores, recreation areas, parks, theaters, museums and cultural events may be available to help in the transition to home and the community.   

  • From the day you arrive at Kessler, we begin planning and preparing you for discharge. Although your individual progress will determine the timing, it’s important to have the necessary information, resources and equipment in place.

    Your case manager will work closely with you and your family to coordinate discharge home or, if warranted, to the next level of care.  We will provide instructions about follow-up care and appointments, continuing therapy and prescriptions, as well as information about support groups and community resources. 

    Discharge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Please discuss arrangements with your family and speak with our nursing supervisor if alternate plans are needed. 

  • Following inpatient discharge, you may want or need to build on the gains you’ve made by continuing rehabilitation as an outpatient at our hospital campus or the more than 90 Kessler Rehabilitation Center locations across the state. Your case manager can help schedule your appointments. For more information, click here

Important information

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please speak with a member of your treatment team or the hospital’s CEO (below) promptly. We will do our best to address any issues and provide you with a meaningful rehabilitation experience.

Ethical issues. If an ethical issue arises during your stay that you and your loved ones need help resolving, contact the chairman of Kessler’s Ethics Committee Philip J. Driscoll at 201.368.6019 or Vice-Chair Allison Averill, M.D., at 201.368.6025. To speak with a local member of this committee, please contact the administration office at the Kessler campus where you are being treated.

Complaints and grievances. If you wish to file a complaint or grievance, please contact the administration office at the campus where you are or were being treated. We will fully investigate the issues and strive to resolve them in a timely, satisfactory manner. We will also provide you with written documentation of the steps and actions taken.

Policies and procedures. For questions about any Kessler policies or procedures, please contact the hospital’s administration office:

  • Chester: Neel Patel, CEO
    (973) 252-6367

  • Marlton: Ken Turley, CEO
    (856) 988-4101

  • Saddle Brook: Philip Driscoll, CEO
    (201) 368-6019

  • West Orange: Michelle O'Keefe, CEO
    (973) 243-6884

Feedback. Your opinion is important to us. You will receive a patient experience survey upon discharge. Please take a few minutes to complete it. Your input and insight help us maintain the highest standards of care.

Medical records. Copies of your medical records can be obtained by submitting a written request to our Medical Records Department. In accordance with state law, a fee may be incurred.

Billing. Questions about billing for Kessler services should be directed to our Central Business Office: at 888.868.1103.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, concerns or would like additional information, please contact us.