Illinois’s population of approximately 12,700,000 residents includes 16.1% seniors aged 65 and older. Seniors will appreciate Illinois’ cost-of-living, which is seven points below the national average in its cost of health care which is also lower than national costs. Illinois has several excellent hospitals, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, nationally ranked in 10 specialties, Rush University Medical Center, nationally ranked in nine specialties and the University of Chicago Medical Center, ranked in six specialties.

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impact a growing number of seniors in the state each year. Illinois predicts a 14% rise in Alzheimer’s cases between 2010 and 2025. The number of seniors in the state aged 65 and older diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as of 2020 was 230,000.  Fortunately, there are a growing number of residential memory care programs in Illinois that provide specialized, around-the-clock memory care services to meet the needs of those living with memory loss. 

Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or, more often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide will present cost comparisons of memory care in Illinois with costs in other states, costs within the cities in the state, and costs of other type of care as well as how to apply for assistance paying for memory care. There’s also resources about memory care in Illinois designed to help seniors, families, or caregivers cope with this debilitating condition.  

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

Note: Memory care is offered most often in residential assisted living facilities.  These facilities typically charge an extra 20-30% above assisted living costs. Prices may vary depending upon the location and the services provided. There are no official state or national figures on the cost of memory care. We use the Genworth Cost of Care 2021 assisted living figures plus 25% in this guide.

In Illinois, memory care costs an average of $5,610 a month, which is slightly below the national average of $5,625 a month. In Missouri, memory care costs are significantly lower than in Illinois, averaging $3,750. Iowa is approximately $150 a month less than Illinois, costing $5,459. Indiana also has a less expensive monthly average of memory care at $5,354. Wisconsin is the only neighboring state with a slightly higher cost of memory care averaging $5,750.

$5610

Illinois

$5625

The United States

$5750

Wisconsin

$5354

Indiana

$3750

Missouri

$5459

Iowa

The cost of memory care in Illinois varies greatly. The least expensive location is Carbondale, in the southern part of the state, which averages $4,406 a month. Located in the state’s northern area, Rockford is the most expensive, costing approximately $2,000 a month extra at $6,563. Chicago, the state’s largest city, averages $6,031 a month. Champagne is slightly less expensive than Chicago, with a price of $5,939 a month. Bloomington, home to the University of Illinois, has the second-highest memory care cost in the state at $6,450 a month. Springfield, the state capital, is not far behind, with a monthly average of $6,388. Decatur averages $5,478 a month, while Peoria costs $5,164 a month.

$6031

Chicago

$6563

Rockford

$5164

Peoria

$5938

Champagne

$6450

Bloomington

$5478

Decatur

$6388

Springfield

$4406

Carbondale

Seniors have other options available to them in Illinois. Home care, which includes help with activities of daily living and grocery shopping, light housekeeping and some personal chores, and home health care, which provides for medical assistance, cost $5,339 a month. Adult daycare remains the least expensive option at $1,885 a month. If a senior citizen wishes to reside in an assisted living facility, it averages $4,488 a month. Seniors who need to stay in a nursing home facility will be able to get a semiprivate room for approximately $6,266.

$5339

Home Care

$5339

Home Health Care

$1885

Adult Day Care

$4488

Assisted Living Facility

$6266

Nursing Home Facility (Semi-Private Room)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Illinois?

Note: For the purposes of this guide, when we say “Memory Care” we are referring to memory care provided in a “social setting,” such as an Assisted Living Facility. This is the most common way to receive Memory Care and is the best fit for all but the frailest seniors. Sometimes the actual service of memory care can be provided in a Nursing Home (“medical setting”), so the financial assistance options will be very different. To learn more about the financial assistance options available for memory care provided in a nursing home, read our guide to Nursing Home Care in Illinois.

In Illinois, Medicaid is commonly referred to as Medical Assistance. In Illinois, Medical Assistance will pay for care in an assisted living environment, including memory care, through the Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP). While the SLP does not pay for room and board, it does help cover some of the other costs associated with assisted living and memory care. Illinois must approve seniors to take part in the program. A senior must have an income equal to or more than the supplemental security income (SSI) monthly income benefit to be eligible.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Illinois?

SLP helps pay for some costs associated with memory care in an assisted living facility. A resident or their representative can choose from the following menu of services if the facility offers them.

  • Medication oversight
  • Social/recreational programming
  • Ancillary services
  • Health promotion and exercise programs
  • Personal care
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • 24-hour response/security
  • Meals and snacks
  • Maintenance

Eligible residents will also receive a $90 a month stipend for personal items.

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Illinois

Illinois Supportive Living Program

The SLP was previously known as the Home Community-Based Services Waiver Program. The SLP provides services to financially challenged seniors who qualify for nursing home care but want to remain in their community in an assisted living facility. The SLP does not pay for room and board but does cover supportive services like homemaking, laundry, medication management, personal care, and recreation. The SLP has limited financing, so seniors may be placed on a waiting list even if they are eligible.

Seniors must be at least 65 and meet Illinois Medical Assistance’s regular income and asset limits. Eligible seniors must also reside in approved assisted living facilities with memory care units and need assistance with at least two ADLs.

How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Illinois

If you want to apply for Medical Assistance in Illinois, you’ll need to meet certain financial limits on income and assets. For individuals, the limits are $18,755 a year for income and $2,000 for assets. In a two-person household, with only one person applying for Medical Assistance, the income level is $25,268 while the asset limit for the person applying for medical assistance remains $2,000. However, the non-applicant has an asset limit of $109,560. In a two-person household with both people applying, the income limit is $50,536, and the asset limit is $3,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Illinois

 

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$18,755

Applicants: $2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$25,268

Applicant: $2,000

Non applicant: $109,560

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$50,536

Applicants: $3,000

*Per year

Several other factors come into play when determining if you are eligible for Medical Assistance in Illinois.

To be eligible:

  • You must be a resident of Illinois
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident or legal alien
  • Your household income cannot be any more than $18,255 for an individual and $25,268 for a couple
  • An individual can only have assets worth $2000 (not including one car and one home) while a couple may only have $3000

You must also be:

  • Responsible for a child aged 18 or fewer years
  • Disabled or accountable for a family member in your household who is disabled
  • At least 65 years of age

How to Apply for Medicaid in Illinois

If you would like more information on applying for Medical Assistance in Illinois, call the Health Benefits Hotline at (800) 843-6143. You can also visit the Application for Benefits Eligibility website, which will answer questions about eligibility and walk you through the application process. You can also download a paper application. Once completed, you can mail, fax or take it to your local Family Community Resource Center.

Information you will need

When you apply for Medical Assistance in Illinois, you’ll need proof of money from other sources such as loans or any rental income from a property, the last five years of income tax returns and titles and registrations for all vehicles you own. You also need:

  • Government-issued identification, such as a passport or a driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • Health insurance cards
  • Birth certificate
  • Military service record if applicable
  • Individual or group life insurance policies
  • Statement of the gross amount of pensions
  • Social Security award letter

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need help applying for Medicaid, you can turn to several different sources. Get Care Illinois provides “navigators” who can help you find the proper healthcare. The Department of Human Services can answer your questions and Illinois Legal Aid offers an online guide to applying for Medicaid.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(850) 300-4323

Seniors can work with a navigator, a trained, unbiased professional, who can help them find the correct health coverage. You can schedule a free, in-person appointment with a Navigator to determine if you are eligible for Medicaid or other public benefits.

(800) 843-6154

The department offers online directions on how to apply for Medicaid. If you are still confused, you can call operators who can help you determine if they are eligible for Medicaid benefits.

Online

The Illinois Legal Aid site presents step-by-step instructions on how to apply for Medicaid and phone numbers you can call to get more information

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Illinois?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Illinois. As was mentioned above, this doesn’t apply to Memory Care received in a Nursing Home. Since it is the most common to receive memory care in a “social setting” (such as an assisted living facility), Medicare won’t be a viable financial assistance option for most seniors who need Memory Care. However, Medicare will still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for Memory Care in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Illinois.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Illinois

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Memory Care affordable.

 

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Memory Care.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Memory Care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Memory Care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Memory Care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Illinois

Several free or low-cost services are available to seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases and their family members or caregivers. These services include help with legal matters, transportation when needed and available specialized care centers.

Program

Contact

Service

The trained volunteers of the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Act as advocates for seniors when they have made allegations of abuse or neglect against a long-term care facility (LTC). The ombudsmen investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve the issue between the senior and the LTC facility. Ombudsmen also act as third parties when providing advice to seniors about Medicaid or Medicare billing issues and how to appeal adverse decisions. They also educate the broader community about the rights enjoyed by seniors in LTC facilities

(800) 252-8966

The Helpline provides seniors aged 60 and older, their family or caregivers with information on programs and services. Staff can refer callers to appropriate services such as transportation, assisted living in mental care facilities and long-term care.

(800) 252-8966 

The 13 Area Agencies on Aging provide services for seniors across the state and work with local organizations to ensure services for seniors are provided. They assist with long-term care planning and help seniors, families or caregivers find assisted living facilities with memory care units.

877-360-5428

LGBTQ seniors can call the hotline for information about local support services, including memory care. Hotline staff members can talk with seniors about concerns they may have about aging as an LGBTQ senior. The hotline can also connect callers with crisis response care.

 847.933.2413

The Alzheimer's Association provides seniors, their family or their caregivers with up-to-date information on available Alzheimer's resources in the state, respite care resources and how to find appropriate memory care units. The Alzheimer's Association also regularly fundraises for continuing research into Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases.

(800) 252-8966

These services seek to help senior residents who can't be left alone because of physical or mental impairment but want to remain in their communities. Several centers throughout the state offer care for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The centers provide caregivers with an opportunity for respite care and offer seniors nutritious meals, personal care and recreational and therapeutic activities.

(312) 942-7100

The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center is one of 29 national centers funded by the National Institute on Aging. The center offers psychological and neurological evaluations and consultations with physicians treating patients with Alzheimer's. The center also researches ways to treat and diagnose dementia-related diseases.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Illinois

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dph.illinois.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 4/25/22, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Illinois Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

*Not Applicable

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Illinois

MEMORY CARE LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN ILLINOIS
Scope of Care
Facilities that offer care to those with Alzheimer's disease or memory loss must provide the state with a written plan that covers the philosophy of care, preadmission, admission and discharge procedures, staffing ratios and treatment plans. No facility may admit a resident who has needs that exceed the scope of care permitted under the facility license.
Care Plan Requirements
An intake assessment must be completed by a licensed practical or registered nurse within 24 hours of admission, and a second, more comprehensive, assessment must be completed within 14 days. These assessments are used to develop a personalized care plan, which must be updated at least once per year.
Medication Management Requirements
Staff may provide medication reminders and supervise self-administration of medications. Staff may assist with medication administration by opening containers and dispensing doses into another container, under the direction of a licensed health care professional. Only licensed medical professionals can administer oral medications, topical treatments, injections, ear and eye drops and nitroglycerin patches.
Staff Screening Requirements
Nursing assistants, registered nurses and practical nurses must provide proof of current certification in Illinois. Facility directors are required to perform due diligence when hiring caregivers.
Staff Training Requirements
The director of a licensed facility that provides care to people with dementia must complete at least 12 hours of professional education related to Alzheimer's disease annually, while all caregivers must have a minimum of 12 hours of dementia-specific training, plus a 4-hour dementia-specific orientation.
Medicaid Coverage
The Illinois Medicaid waiver covers care costs for memory care services delivered in an assisted living setting, which can include memory care units.
Reporting Abuse
The Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides resident-directed advocacy services as mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act. Concerns regarding abuse in memory care facilities can be reported to the LTCOP and/or the nearest law enforcement agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Illinois?

In Illinois, the average cost of memory care is $5,610 per month, although actual costs may be higher or lower depending on the location, facility, and services. The highest prices in the state are in Rockford, where seniors can expect to pay an average of $6,563 for memory care, while the least expensive memory care services are found in Carbondale, where costs average $4,406 per month.

Memory Care Facilities in Illinois (112)