We give Omega a financial-strength score of 5.6 out of 10, higher than our REIT average of 3.3. Another financially stable trust with a health-care focus is National Health Investors ( NHI), which we rate "buy" and award a lofty financial-strength score of 9.5 out of 10.

Other "buys" to consider are Nationwide Health Properties ( NHP), Senior Housing Properties Trust ( SNH) and Universal Health Realty Income Trust ( UHT), which all offer yields over 5%.

Some analysts have become bearish on REITs due to fears about commercial real estate vacancies and defaults. Although concern is justified, the aforementioned stocks offer exposure to the more secure and growth-poised health-care sector.

-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.

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