Assisted Living in Illinois

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Families looking for assisted living in Illinois (IL) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 503 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 15.2 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Illinois will pay $3,720 per month on average.

Average Monthly Costs

States near Illinois

$4,791.00 Indiana
$4,698.00 Wisconsin
$4,403.00 Illinois
$4,203.00 Iowa
$4,000.00 US
Genworth lists the average cost of a private, one bedroom unit in an assisted living community in Illinois as $4,403. This places Illinois on the higher end of the scale at about $400 over the national average, and about $0 lower than the median cost of assisted living in nearby states.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.

Nursing Home Care


In-Home Care


Assisted Living

Average Monthly Costs

Cities in Illinois

$5,238.00 Chicago, Naperville, Elgin
$5,212.00 Rockford
$5,081.00 Bloomington
$4,818.00 Springfield
$4,589.00 Danville
$4,421.00 Decatur
$4,355.00 Kankakee
$4,097.00 Peoria
$3,909.00 Champaign, Urbana
$3,797.00 Carbondale, Marion
$3,551.00 Rest Of State
When estimating the cost of assisted living, it's important to know that average prices can differ significantly between various parts of Illinois. For example, assisted living rates in areas such as Chicago, Naperville, Elgin are at least $800 more than the state average of $4,403, but in areas like Carbondale, Marion, you're saving on average $600. The most affordable region in Illinois for assisted living is Rest of State at $3,551.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Illinois

In Illinois, assisted living communities are legally known as “assisted living facilities” or ALFs. They are governed similarly to “shared housing establishments” or SHEs and are overseen by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). These types of communities are valued in Illinois as alternatives to skilled nursing homes for elderly individuals who can no longer live entirely independently yet do not need full nursing care.The IDPH requires ALFs and SHEs to be licensed and to offer certain services, including assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as access to housekeeping, laundry, and dietary and health services. In addition, Illinois requires ALFs and SHEs to offer 24-hour security and an emergency response system. ALFs and SHEs can overlap when it comes to resident numbers: SHEs house 16 or fewer patients, while an ALF must have three or more unrelated patients. The main difference is that an ALF must provide private, single occupancy apartments with a small kitchen and private bathing facilities while SHEs do not have this requirement.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Illinois

While many seniors in Illinois pay for assisted living costs from their personal financial reserves or long-term care insurance, several other options are available for low-income residents.

Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP)

The Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP) gives low-income seniors access to services not normally covered by Medicaid, such as those provided by living in an assisted living community. This is accomplished through a waiver to the Medicaid program. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family (DHF) services administers the SLP program, which covers all services besides room and board. The resident remains responsible for all room and board costs.

Who Is Eligible?

Those applying for the SLP waiver must be Illinois residents. In addition, they must:

  • Be 65 or older - Alternatively, they can be 22 to 64 and have a physical disability
  • Have an income greater than the Supplemental Income maximum of $750 per month, as of 2018
  • Not have any developmental or cognitive disabilities

How to Apply

If eligible, seniors should contact the DHF Bureau of Long Term Care for further information and instructions for application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Assisted living communities make their own determinations on the types of payments they will accept from residents. Ask each residence you’re interested in what programs they participate in, whether they offer additional programs for lower-income individuals and what payment types they prefer.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Illinois

Several agencies are available throughout Illinois that offer free assistance to elderly residents and their families as they seek assisted living opportunities or are already in an ALF or SHE. These agencies sometimes receive government funding or operate as nonprofit organizations. They can help families explore financial opportunities to pay for assisted living, understand what different types of communities provide and help gain access to open apartments or beds.

Illinois Area Agencies on Aging

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging works with individual organizations in every state to provide necessary assistance and advice to older residents. Illinois is split into 13 Planning and Service Areas, which includes 12 not-for-profit organizations and the City of Chicago government. These area agencies receive funding from the Illinois Department on Aging and can help with planning and coordinating services.

Utilize the Illinois Planning and Service List for location and contact information for each of the 13 areas throughout the state.

AgeOptions, Inc.

1048 Lake Street, Suite 300, Oak Park, IL 60301
1-800-699-9043; 708-383-0258; 708-524-1653

AgeSmart Community Resources

2365 Country Road, Belleville, IL 62221-2571
800-326-3221; 618-222-2561

Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, Inc.

3100 Montvale Drive, Springfield, IL 62704-4278
1-800-252-2918; 217-787-9234

Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc.

700 Hamilton Boulevard, Peoria, IL 61603-3617
1-877-777-2422; 309-674-2071; TTY: 309-674-1831

East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

1003 Maple Hill Road, Bloomington, IL 61704-9327
1-800-888-4456; 309-829-2065

Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

200 E. Plaza Drive, Carterville, IL 62918-1982
1-888-895-3306; 618-985-8311

Midland Area Agency on Aging

434 S. Poplar, Centralia, IL 62801-1420
1-877-532-1853; 618-532-1853

Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Kankakee Community College, River Road, West Campus - Building 5, Kankakee, IL 60901
1-800-528-2000; 815-939-0727

Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

1111 South Alpine Road, Suite 600, Rockford, IL 61108
1-800-542-8402; 815-226-4901

Southeastern Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc.

516 Market Street, Mt. Carmel, IL 62863-1558
1-800-635-8544; 618-262-2306

Senior Services Area Agency on Aging Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

1615 W. Chicago Ave, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60622
1-312-744-4016; 312-744-6777

West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging

639 York Street, Room 204, Quincy, IL 62301
1-800-252-9027; 217-223-7904

Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging

729 34th Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201-5950
1-800-322-1051; 309-793-6800

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Illinois

Illinois first began requiring ALFs and SHEs to be licensed in 2001. To become and remain licensed, the state requires that these communities follow set regulations in how services are provided to the residents they serve.

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

To move into an ALF or SHE in Illinois, seniors first must undergo an assessment by a medical professional to determine if their level of needs is consistent with what an assisted living community can provide. In addition, assessments must be conducted yearly afterward to ensure that an assisted living environment is still appropriate.

Based on the initial assessment and continued checkups, all assisted living residents have a service plan that acts like a contract between them and the ALF or SHE. This service plan sets out the level of care needed for assistance with activities of daily living, the amount of access necessary to health care professionals and services, additional services such as medication reminders or administration and any known and negotiated risks.

The service plan agreement has to document both the services that are agreed upon and those that are refused by either the community or the resident. The service plan is designed by the resident or their legal representative or any other person they designate, an appropriately empowered person representing the community, and, if applicable, a nursing care or case manager.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

To live in an ALF or SHE in Illinois, a prospective resident must be above the age of 65 or be between the ages of 22 and 64 and suffer from a physical disability. The resident cannot have a significant developmental or cognitive disability and must need only partial assistance with activities of daily living.

If a potential resident currently needs full nursing care, notably intravenous fluids, feedings or catheterization; are in need of total rehabilitation services or have stage 3 or 4 skin ulcers, they are also disqualified. Additionally, they cannot pose a threat to themselves or others and must be able to communicate their own needs clearly or have a close relative or representative living at the same community who can do so on their behalf.

Assisted Living Service Requirements

Illinois requires certain mandatory services be provided to all residents of ALFs and SHEs. In addition, these communities may also offer residents additional optional services, for which they may charge additional fees.

Mandatory services include:

  • Providing at least three meals per day as dictated by individual dietary requirements
  • Regular housekeeping services within each resident’s apartment as well as common areas
  • Laundry services for personal garments as well as household linens
  • Security that includes limited-access entrances and guard personnel as necessary
  • Emergency communication devices that residents can use to signal needs to the building or emergency response personnel
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living, such as feeding, dressing, hygiene and bathroom duties

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Prospective ALF and SHE residents may be able to obtain financial assistance through the Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP), which is a Medicaid waiver. Eligible residents must qualify financially and be interested in living at a property that’s part of the SLP-approved list. SLP funding covers mandatory services except for room and board, which must be paid for individually by the resident. Of the residents’ other income sources, they must commit all but $90 per month to their own ALF or SHE costs.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Individual patient apartments in ALFs and SHEs must have a door that can lock, a telephone jack, a way to communicate an emergency with staff or response personnel, and a window or door that provides outside views. For communities that offer private apartments, residents must have a bed that is in good condition, adequate lighting, privacy covers for windows and storage space for belongings.

In an ALF, residents must have a private bathroom with all working fixtures and any assistive devices defined by the service plan contract. In addition, private apartments must provide space for small kitchen appliances.

In a SHE, bathroom facilities must provide a tub or shower for every six residents and a toilet for every four residents, all equipped with working fixtures and any necessary assistive devices.

Medication Management Regulations

The Illinois Administrative Code mandates that all medication administration must be undertaken by licensed health care professionals.

When medication management services are provided to residents, the community’s policies and procedures for handling medications must obtain approval by a qualified health care professional, such as a doctor, pharmacist or registered nurse. Unlicensed staff are not allowed to supervise self-administered medications unless under the direction of a licensed health-care professional.

All medications must be stored appropriately, labeled and administered according to an individual medication record established for each resident.

Staffing Requirements

An ALF or SHE in Illinois is required to have at least one staff member, at least 16 years of age, who is qualified in the administration of CPR on site at all time. In an ALF, an awake staff member must be available 24 hours per day. In a SHE, a staff member must always be present unless an emergency such as accompanying a resident to the hospital occurs.

There is no requirement for a nurse to be on staff, although most communities do provide nursing staff members. Staff members must be managed by an on-site manager in a SHE setting and by a manager who manages no more than three communities in an ALF setting.

Staff Training Requirements

When hired, ALFs and SHEs must provide an initial orientation to all employees on community philosophy, goals, policies and procedures, as well as expectations for respecting patient dignity and autonomy, confidentiality and hygiene. Within 30 days of being hired, additional orientation must occur to cover resident service plans and where they are stored, job responsibilities, emergency procedures and how to provide assistance with activities of daily living. All patient care staff and managers must undergo at least 8 hours of training every 12 months.

Background Checks for ALF and SHE Staff in Illinois

ALFs and SHEs in Illinois must hire employees in accordance with the Health Care Worker Background Check Act and Health Care Worker Background Check Code. Additionally, if a worker must be licensed, the community must verify their license with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. All potential hires must also be checked against the Nurse Aide Registry to ensure they have not been found guilty of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Whenever an ALF or SHE believes abuse has occurred, the person who committed that abuse must be removed immediately from the property and a report must be made to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) within 24 hours through the Assisted Living Complaint Registry. The facility must investigate within 14 days and then file a completed report with the IDPH.

Assisted Living Facilities in Illinois



Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Illinois’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.


Willow Falls Retirement Community

Crest Hill, IL $$

26 reviews


Brookdale Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates, IL $

19 reviews


Three Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care

Cary, IL Cost Levels

24 reviews


Brookdale Des Plaines

Des Plaines, IL $

26 reviews


Belmont Village Glenview

Glenview, IL $$$

16 reviews


Brookdale Hawthorn Lakes

Vernon Hills, IL $

23 reviews


Smith Village

Chicago, IL Cost Levels

14 reviews


Alexian Village of Elk Grove

Elk Grove Village, IL $$$

19 reviews


Crimson Pointe

Rockford, IL Cost Levels

13 reviews