The magazine's September issue includes Consumer Reports' analysis of 16,000 U.S. nursing homes.
"We ended up classifying 4% of the homes in the country as homes to consider, and 3% of homes in the country as homes to avoid," says Charles Phillips, PhD, MPH.
Phillips directs the Health Services Research Program at Texas A&M Health Science Center. He worked with Consumer Reports on the nursing home project.
"Our data is really a starting point for families when they begin to look for a nursing home," says Trudy Lieberman, who wrote the magazine article.
Lieberman directs the Center for Consumer Health Choices at Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports.
Lieberman and Phillips discussed the article in a media teleconference.
Tips For Finding Good Nursing Home Care
Consumer Reports suggests these steps for people looking for a nursing home:
Nursing Home Visits
Consumer Reports has specific suggestions for nursing home visits.
First, make unannounced visits. Go at different times of day.
If you go in the morning — say, around 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. — see how many people are still in bed. "Homes with too few staff members don't get people out of bed until late in the day, if at all," says the magazine.
If you go around dinnertime, check out the dining hall.