Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impact a growing number of seniors in the U.S. each year, and that’s especially true in Illinois, where the state predicts a 14% rise in Alzheimer’s cases between 2010 and 2025. As of 2020, the total number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in Illinois reached 230,000, and the disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the state. 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 covers the cost of memory care in Illinois and nearby states, financial assistance programs for memory care services and free and low-cost memory care resources. We also highlight the rules and regulations pertaining to memory care communities, and cover many of the most common questions seniors and their loved ones have about memory care services in Illinois.

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

Memory care costs are generally 20-30% higher than assisted living costs. Given that memory care cost data isn’t available, we’ve calculated the cost of memory care in Illinois by adding 25% to the average cost of assisted living care, as shown in Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey. As such, the average cost of memory care in Illinois is $5,213 per month, which is slightly higher than the national average of $5,064.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

Memory care costs in nearby states are either similar to, or less than, the average cost in Illinois, where memory care costs an average of $5,213 per month. In neighboring Indiana, memory care runs approximately $5,125 per month, while average costs are similar in Iowa ($5,098) and Wisconsin ($5,438). Memory care is much more affordable in Missouri ($3,061) and Kentucky, where the average is $4,371 per month.

$5213

Illinois

$5064

United States Average

$5438

Wisconsin

$5098

Iowa

$4371

Kentucky

Cost of Other Types of Care in Illinois

In addition to memory care, seniors in Illinois have a number of options when it comes to long-term care services. At a statewide average cost of $1,584 per month, adult day health care is the most affordable option, while a semiprivate room in a nursing facility is the most expensive at $5,931 per month. Assisted living costs $4,170 per month, while 44 hours of in-home care costs $4,481 from a homemaker, and $4,576 from a home health aide.

$5213

Memory Care

$4481

In-Home Care

$4576

Home Health Care

$1584

Adult Day Care

$4170

Assisted Living Facility

$5931

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois’ Top Cities

The cost of memory care varies throughout the state, and these costs tend to reflect the local cost of living in each city or county. Costs are highest in Rockford ($5,949) and Chicago ($5,925) and lowest in the southern tip of the state in Carbondale ($4,375). In central Illinois, costs are the same as the state average of $5,122 in Springfield, and $564 less in nearby Decatur at $4,558 per month.

$5949

Rockford

$5925

Chicago

$5122

Springfield

$4558

Decatur

$4375

Carbondale

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Illinois

Illinois Supportive Living Program

Low-income seniors who are Medicaid-eligible and require 24 hour memory care services may be eligible for enrollment in the Supportive Living Program (SLP). This nursing home diversion program is operated by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and benefits include services and care delivered in an approved dementia care setting.

Who is Eligible?
To be eligible for enrollment in the SLP, seniors must be aged 65 or older, qualify for Medicaid and be assessed as needing the level of care normally provided in a nursing home setting.

How to Apply
To apply for the SLP, contact the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Long Term Care,by calling (844) 528-8444 or (217) 782-0545.

VA Aid and Attendance and Housebound Allowance Benefits

The VA Aid and Attendance and the Housebound Allowance are two enhanced pension programs that provide monthly cash benefits to those who have served in the military. These benefits are greater than the regular VA pension rates, and money from either program can be used towards the cost of memory care in Illinois.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, a veteran must first qualify for the regular VA pension.

For Aid and Attendance, applicants also must require daily assistance from another person to perform one or more activities of daily living; be largely bedridden due to chronic illness; reside in a nursing home due to physical disability and/or cognitive decline; or have one or more severe visual impairments.

For the Housebound Allowance, applicants must have a permanent disability rated at 100% by the VA which renders them restricted to their home, which may be a memory care facility.

How to Apply
To apply for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits or the VA Housebound Allowance, contact the nearest VA location or call the State of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs at (800) 437-9824.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Illinois

Seniors, their family members and caregivers of those living with memory loss have access to free and low-cost resources throughout the state. These resources include support groups, information about Alzheimer’s disease and help with legal issues related to elders and long-term care.

ContactServices Provided
Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman ProgramContact your regional Long-Term Care OmbudsmanThe ombudsman provides free support and advocacy services to seniors living in long-term care facilities, including memory care communities. Seniors and their loved ones can contact their nearest ombudsman to file complaints about a facility, learn how to self-advocate and get information about residents’ rights and facility regulations.
Illinois Senior HelpLine1-800-252-8966The Illinois Senior HelpLine provides free information about programs and services for seniors aged 60 and older, their family members and their caregivers. HelpLine staff can refer callers to local agencies, make referrals to transportation and long-term care services and take reports regarding elder abuse.
SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline877-360-5428Seniors who identify as members of the LGBT2Q community can call the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline 24 hours a day to access information about local support services, discuss concerns about aging as an LBGT2Q person and seek crisis response care. Service is available in English and Spanish, and translation in 180 additional languages is provided through a translation service.
Area Agencies on AgingContact your regional Area Agency on AgingIllinois seniors and their caregivers can contact their local Area Agency on Aging for free assistance with long-term care planning, referrals to memory care programs and services and help with health insurance coverage.
Illinois Department on Aging – Senior Legal Assistance ProvidersContact your nearest Legal Services OfficeIllinoisans aged 60 and older who require legal support can contact a local Legal Services Office. Assistance is available for civil legal matters, such as elder abuse and neglect, consumer fraud, long-term care services and issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and private pension plans.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Illinois

Illinois memory care facilities, also known as supportive living facilities, are regulated and licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Act also applies to facilities that serve residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Illinois?

The average cost of memory care in Illinois is $5,213 per month, although actual costs may be higher or lower depending on the location, facility and services. The highest costs in the state are in Rockford, where seniors can expect to pay an average of $5,949 for memory care, while the least expensive memory care services are found in Carbondale, where costs average $4,375 per month.

Does Illinois Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

Yes. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia who qualify for Medicaid and who require care may be eligible for a range of residential and community-based benefits through one of nine Illinois Home and Community-Based Services Waiver programs.

What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?

Memory care facilities are equipped with advanced security features to prevent wandering and keep residents safe. Exterior doors are usually secured with a keyless entry device, and there are often security cameras and motion sensors to alert staff if a resident attempts to leave the facility. Outside spaces may be enclosed with buildings, fencing or dense hedges, and some facilities provide residents with a small, wearable device that’s part of a WanderGuard wireless wandering management system.

What Are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living, or ADLs, are the basic tasks each person needs to perform daily to maintain their physical and mental health. These tasks include getting dressed, grooming, eating, using the toilet and moving around their home, as well as taking any necessary medications, installing and adjusting prosthetic devices and maintaining good dental hygiene.

What Types of Services Does Memory Care Provide?

Memory care provides room and board, 24-hour supervision and security, housekeeping and laundry services, as well as daily social and recreational programming geared towards those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Some facilities also offer transportation to local medical appointments, in-house medical care and specialized therapies, such as music, art and pet therapy.

Memory Care Facilities in Illinois (111)