Narrator: This is Science Today. When evaluating nursing homes, a new study suggests consumers should consider certain categories of care, including whether or not residents are well nourished and hydrated. While these basic needs should be a given, study co-author Charlene Harrington of the University of California, San Francisco, says it's often not the case in many nursing homes in this country.
Harrington: There's been research that shows that a number of residents have died of malnutrition and dehydration and that's really because there aren't enough staff to feed the residents because they have fifteen or even twenty residents to feed.
Narrator: Other categories of nursing home care to consider include that the staff meets minimum state and federal standards.
Harrington: Not only would people feel better and have less problems, but there also might be some savings that would be achieved because you would have fewer people going to the hospital from the nursing home if you improve the staffing and have better quality of care.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.