When you or a friend or family member is no longer able to live completely independently, does this mean you should start looking for a nursing home?  Not without considering the alternatives- and there are alternatives.  If an individual does not require 24 hour nursing care, there are services and living situations that can meet their needs so they can maintain more independence and autonomy than a nursing home can provide.  Medicare has developed a guide that will explain the various alternatives to nursing home placement, from services one can receive in one’s own home to living environments that, while not one’s own home, are still not as restrictive as nursing home living.  For more information about these alternatives, including links that can connect you to services in your state, visit:  https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/Resources/Nursing-Home-Alternatives.html