I ran across a very good, comprehensive nursing home checklist that has been generated by Medicare. If you think your loved one may need a nursing home in the foreseeable future then it would be helpful to run through the questions on this list with the nursing home director for each facility that you are considering. Asking these types of thoughtful questions is also a way to send a message to the nursing home's administrators that you are serious about the quality of care provided to your loved one.
Another good approach is to chat with visitors who have a family member residing in the facility. They are the ones who can give you a relatively accurate and honest assessment of the overall quality of that particular nursing home.