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Memory Care in Illinois

The Midwestern state of Illinois is home to 12.8 million people. Approximately 17% of residents are aged 65 and over, promoting the need for specialized long-term care solutions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of Alzheimer’s-related deaths in this state has remained stable in recent years. In 2016, 5.8% of deaths were linked to this disease, and in 2020, Alzheimer’s was the primary cause of about 5.7% of deaths.

Memory care facilities in Illinois offer comprehensive dementia care, ensuring high-quality services for seniors and peace of mind for their families. These facilities provide standard assisted living services such as housing, meals and housekeeping as well as engaging activities that support motor skills, life skills and socialization. They have experienced caregivers who’ve completed dementia-informed training and secured outdoor areas to prevent residents from venturing off-campus.

This guide highlights memory care costs in facilities throughout Illinois, outlines the benefits of obtaining care in this state and lists some agencies and programs that help seniors and families navigate the system.

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

When trying to decide how to pay for memory care, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of memory care in Illinois and its 66 cities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois's Top Cities

Memory care costs differ widely throughout cities in Illinois, showing how important it is for seniors to fully consider their options before making a decision. Monthly rates run $5,995 in the state capital of Springfield, while Rockford offers more affordable fees of around $5,325 per month. Conversely, average rates are higher in Chicago and Joliet, where memory care costs $6,582 and $6,006 per month, respectively.  











Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

Memory care costs in Illinois are impacted by inflation, rising from $5,328 in 2022 to $5,790 in 2023, representing an 8.7% increase. Costs are projected to increase a further 10.2% to $6,382 by 2024. Nationally, inflation caused memory care costs to increase by 10.4%, with average monthly rates running $5,369 in 2023.Inflation affects states differently. From 2022 to 2023, Wisconsin saw an 8.2% increase. Rates rose by just 5.8% in Indiana while Missouri saw an even lower increase of 2.4% for the same period. Inflation had a greater impact in Iowa, with a 10% increase.    

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

In Illinois, different types of senior care come at varying rates. Assisted living typically costs about $4,742 per month, while specialized memory care is generally pricier, running $5,790. Averaging $2,775, independent living is the cheapest option. Various factors influence actual prices, including required care and support services, medical and memory needs, amenities and location.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


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 $14,580 a year for income and $17,500 for assets. In a two-person household, with only one person applying for Medical Assistance, the income level is $14,580, while the asset limit for the person applying for medical assistance remains $2,000. However, the non-applicant has an asset limit of $120,780. In a two-person household with both people applying, the income limit is $19,716, and the asset limit is $17,500.

2022 Basic Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Illinois

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$14,580$17,500
Two Person1$14,580**$17,500$120,780
Two Person2$19,716$17,500

*Based on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level. People in supported living residences can only retain a $90/mo. personal needs allowance. Income may also go toward Medicare costs and a spousal income allowance for a non-applicant spouse.

**Income limit is for applicant only.


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 $14,580 for an individual and $19,716 for a couple
  • An individual or couple with only one applicant can only have assets worth $17,500 (not including one car and one home), while the non-applicant can have $120,780

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 800-843-6154. 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.

ProgramContactServices provided
Get Care Illinois(850) 300-4323Seniors 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.
Illinois Department of Human Services(800) 843-6154The 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.
Illinois Legal AidOnlineThe 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.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at 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 MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.govIf 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) InsuranceLearn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at 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

There are many resources in Illinois that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.


Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Area Agencies on AgingIllinois' Area Agencies on Aging provide vital services and support for older adults and their caregivers. They offer a range of programs that promote independent living, health and overall well-being. AAAs assess needs, help develop care plans and connect seniors with services such as transportation, meal programs and in-home assistance. They also provide counseling on Medicare, Medicaid and other benefits. These agencies advocate for seniors and ensure they have access to the resources they need to age with dignity.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Illinois provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Illinois seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois HCBS Waiver for the ElderlyThe Waiver for the Elderly is a Home and Community-Based (HCBS) program that helps seniors who require a nursing level of care to access services and support in their own homes, thus helping them avoid institutionalization. The program pays for homemaker services and adult day care, as well as devices such as automated medication dispensers and personal emergency response systems.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Illinois seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Meals on WheelsThe Illinois Meals on Wheels Program provides nutritional dishes and safety checks for homebound seniors and others with a disability or mobility issue that makes it challenging to shop for food and prepare fresh, healthy meals. Participants pay based on income anywhere between free to full price. Illinois seniors who use Meals on Wheels receive regular weekday visits from volunteers who deliver meals. The program also serves meals at community gathering places for those with transportation.
Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-843-6154The Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, helps eligible seniors 60 and older and low-income families obtain healthy food. Seniors must be Illinois residents and meet income guidelines to be eligible. Benefits are provided on the electronic Illinois Link Card. The card can be used at grocery stores statewide for most food products, plus seeds and plants for home gardens. They can't be used for liquor, beer, wine or tobacco.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

Low-income elderly individuals in senior living communities can access financial assistance through local-run programs. These Illinois resources offer advice, guidance and support to help older adults pay for the services offered by long-term care providers.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Supportive Living Facilities WaiverSeniors who receive Medicaid coverage can take part in the Supportive Living Facilities waiver, which provides personal care services for those living independently in their own communities. The program is self-directed and ensures that participants have the opportunity to customize the program to suit their needs.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Illinois collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Assistive Technology Program800-852-5110Illinois Assistive Technology Program offers equipment loans, funding for new equipment and training for assistive technology such as general household accessibility aids, handheld and desktop video magnifiers, TV amplifiers and vehicle modification tools.
Illinois Devices 4 the Disabled773-870-1553Devices 4 the Disabled collects donated equipment and redistributes it to those who need it. Available supplies typically include wheelchairs, hospital beds and walkers.
Illinois Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach217-525-8843Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach distributes medical supplies and equipment to low-income seniors and disabled persons throughout the globe; however, personal delivery is available to those living across the Midwest United States.
Illinois St. John's Community Care618-344-5008St. John's Community Care hosts a free lending program at its Collinsville location. This program makes supplies such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes and bath chairs available to anyone who needs it.
Illinois Village of Schaumburg Medical Equipment Loans847-895-4500The Village of Schaumburg offers its residents loans of medical equipment for up to 90 days, provided they can make a small security deposit. Available equipment includes canes, bedside tables, bathtub seats and rails, and wheelchairs.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Illinois have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP)217-785-2533Through this program, older adults can apply for assistance with upgrades to their homes that make them more weather-resistant. These include air sealing, insulation, HVAC repair or replacement, water heater repair or replacement and ventilation services.
Illinois Section 504 Home Repair Program800-225-5342The Section 504 Home Repair Program offers funding to very low-income seniors who live in rural areas throughout the United States. Funds may be used to remove health hazards from the home or make necessary home modifications. More information about eligible housing can be found online at the United States Department of Agriculture Eligibility website.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Illinois seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Adult Protective Services866-800-1409Illinois Adult Protective Services coordinates with 40 provider agencies through the state to investigate any claims of abuse and neglect of seniors or disabled individuals. This program looks into instances of abuse and neglect that are outside of the boundaries of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. If someone suspects abuse, exploitation or neglect of a senior, they can call the number 24-hours a day to get immediate help.
Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman ProgramThe Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program connects seniors living in assisted living and other long-term care facilities with advocates that will ensure they are receiving a high level of care. Representatives from the Ombudsman Program will help seniors and their families resolve issues or look into accusations of abuse and neglect with long-term care facilities. This program is free to any resident who needs it.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Illinois help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter847-933-2413The 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.
Illinois Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center312-942-7100The 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.
Illinois SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline877-360-5428LGBTQ 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.
Illinois Senior Helpline800-252-8966The 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.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Illinois help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Illinois resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Property Tax ReliefThe state of Illinois offers a variety of tax exemptions and exceptions for seniors, persons with disabilities and Veterans. The eligibility requirements for these exemptions vary but for seniors, most require applicants to be at least 65 years old and considered a low-to-moderate-income household.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Illinois retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity833-711-0374Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Veteran's Services

Illinois retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs800-437-9824Throughout the state, Veterans Administration centers connect veterans and their spouses to the senior care and residential options they qualify for, as well as other benefits earned through military service. There are several VA centers located throughout Illinois.
Illinois VA Benefits and Health CareIllinois VA Benefits and Health Care

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Illinois

In Illinois, memory care may be provided in assisted living facilities, shared housing establishments, or supportive living facilities, depending on the accommodations, services, and care one needs. Assisted living and shared housing establishments are licensed and monitored by the Illinois Department of Public Health, and supportive living facilities are regulated by the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Scope of CareFacilities 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 RequirementsAn 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 RequirementsStaff 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 RequirementsNursing 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 RequirementsThe 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 CoverageThe Illinois Medicaid waiver covers care costs for memory care services delivered in an assisted living setting, which can include memory care units.
Reporting AbuseThe 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.

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