Assisted Living in Illinois

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Assisted Living in IL

A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities in Illinois

What they're called

Official name: Assisted Living Establishments, Shared Housing Establishments (with no more than 16 residents), and Supportive Living Facilities (which accept residents whose fees are partially paid through the state's Supportive Living Program)

Common name: Assisted living facilities

To compare assisted living to board and care, skilled nursing, and other long-term residential care communities, see Residential Care Options: How to Decide.

What they offer
  • Individual living units (from single rooms to multiroom apartments with kitchen)
  • All meals, usually in a common dining area
  • Medication management
  • Personal care services: assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, dressing, and bathing)
  • Social and exercise activities
  • Special care programs for residents with memory loss (most facilities)

Note: Some facilities also offer respite care and other special services.

What they cost

Median monthly fees: $3,490 (higher for residents requiring memory care)

State of Illinois requirements
  • Outside home healthcare agencies are permitted to provide care to residents under direct contract with the resident.
  • Physician's assessment, including evaluation of resident's physical, cognitive, and psychosocial condition, to be completed upon admission and annually thereafter.
  • A special program for persons with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia must:
    • Ensure a representative is designated for each resident.
    • Ensure safety of all residents, including those who wander.
    • Provide coordination of communications among resident, representative, and resident's family.
    • Provide activities and cognitive stimulation to maximize functioning.
    • Have at least one staff member awake and on duty 24 hours.
    • Provide at least 1.4 hours of services per resident per day.
State of Illinois oversight

Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Assisted Living (217-782-2913) licenses assisted living facilities.

How to resolve problems or offer feedback
  • Illinois Office of Health Care Regulation maintains a 24-hour consumer hotline to take complaints at 800-252-4343.
  • Contact the Illinois long-term care ombudsman (a free service) through the Senior Help Line at 800-252-8966.
  • Rate and review assisted living facilities.
How to pay for assisted living in Illinois
  • Most assisted living is paid for privately by the resident and/or his or her family.
  • For Medicaid-eligible low-income residents, the Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP) can pay part of the monthly fees in facilities that participate, called supportive living facilities. SLP does not pay for room and board but sets a very low cap on what the facility can charge. SLP pays a set monthly amount to the facility for care services. The family of a resident who qualifies for SLP may pay some or all of the cost of room and board without affecting the resident's eligibility. Not all assisted living facilities participate in SLP, and most facilities that participate limit the number of their living units that they include in the program.
  • Low-income veterans or surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for Aid and Attendance or other payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which can help pay for assisted living.
  • Some assisted living facilities offer sliding scale fees, making a higher level of care available to families that might not otherwise be able to afford it. Be sure to ask -- or ask a geriatric care manager in the area if he or she knows which facilities offer sliding scale fees).
Help finding and choosing a facility
  • Hire a geriatric care manager (most have extensive local knowledge about assisted living facilities in a particular geographic area, including space availability, resident needs assessments, sliding scale fees, and resident satisfaction). To find a geriatric care manager, see Caring.com's Senior Living Directory.
  • For details about assisted living facilities in each of the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, see A Caregiver's Guide to Assisted Living Facilities.

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