According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of the elderly living in Illinois has grown over the past five years. It’s possible seniors are choosing to retire in the state because they do not have to pay state tax on social security income, public or private pensions, or income from a retirement savings account such as an IRA.

Paying For Assisted Living in Illinois

The Cost of Assisted Living in Illinois

The monthly median cost of assisted living in Illinois is $4,030, which is slightly higher than the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Illinois is less expensive than the median in all neighboring states except Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, and Missouri.

 

While the cost of Assisted Living is fairly consistent throughout the state, Carbondale is the one exception coming in at $555 below the state average. Chicago is the most expensive region in the state at $794 above the national average of $4,000.

 

While nursing home care is relatively cheap in Illinois when compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still slightly more expensive than assisted living. Other than independent living, which doesn’t provide assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living communities are the cheapest solution for long-term care in the state.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Illinois

Illinois Supportive Living Program

The Illinois Medicaid waiver that helps pay for some assisted living costs is referred to as the Supportive Living Program (SLP). It pays for personal care services, housekeeping, meals, exercise programs, medication supervision and assistance, and 24-hour staff to ensure residents’ scheduled and unscheduled needs are met. Residents are responsible for room and board costs.

Who Is Eligible?

Residents interested in applying for the SLP must meet the following age, financial, and functional requirements:

  • Age 65 or older or have a physical disability
  • Monthly income must be equal to or greater than the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rate of $750 for single residents or $1,125 for married residents (as of 2018)
  • Eligible for nursing home care but choose to receive care in an AL environment

If eligible, all of your monthly income except for $90 will go to the assisted living facility.

How to Apply

To apply for the SLP, residents or their legal representative should contact the ALF, and they will help complete the appropriate assessments and paperwork. Not all facilities accept the waiver, so be sure to ask if they are an SLP participant.

Interested applicants who would like more information about SLP or those with questions about an ALF, can also call the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Long-Term Care at (217) 782-0545 or (844) 528-8444.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
  • Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Illinois

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The Ombudsman in Illinois is a resident-directed advocacy program mandated by the Older Americans Act as well as the Illinois Act on Aging. It was established to protect residents in long-term care facilities.

Some of the Ombudsman’s free services include:

  • Advocating for residents to ensure they receive quality care
  • Informing residents about their rights, long-term care options, and supports and services
  • Investigating and resolving complaints and concerns

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a network of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across America that provide federal and state-funded services to older adults in their local areas.

Illinois has several Area Agencies on Aging that offer comprehensive information on various kinds of programs and community supports for seniors.

Area Agency on Aging Address Phone Number
AgeOptions, Inc.

Serves: Suburban Cook County.

1048 Lake Street, Suite 300

Oak Park, IL 60301

(708) 383-0258 or (800) 699-9043
AgeSmart Community Resources

Counties served: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington.

2365 Country Road

Belleville, IL 62221

(618) 222-2561 or (800) 326-3221
Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, Inc.

Counties served: Cass, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, and Scott.

3100 Montvale Drive

Springfield, IL 62704

(217) 787-9234 (Voice & TTY) or (800) 252-2918 (217, 309, and 618 area codes only)
Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc.

Counties served: Fulton, Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.

700 Hamilton Boulevard

Peoria, IL 61603

(309) 674-2071 or (309) 674-1831 (TTY)
East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

Counties served: Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby, and Vermilion.

1003 Maple Hill Road

Bloomington, IL 61704

(309) 829-2065 or (800) 888-4456
Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, Inc.

Counties served: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson.

200 E. Plaza Drive

Carterville, IL 62918

(618) 985-8311 or (888) 895-3306
Midland Area Agency on Aging

Counties served: Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Jefferson, and Marion.

434 S. Poplar

Centralia, IL 62801

(618) 532-1853 or (877) 532-1853
Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Counties served: DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.

245 W. Roosevelt Road – Building 6, Suites 41-43

West Chicago, IL 60185

(630) 293-5990
Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Counties served: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, JoDaviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago.

1111 South Alpine Road, Suite 600

Rockford, IL 61108

(815) 226-4901 or (800) 542-8402 (nine county only)
Senior Services Area Agency on Aging 1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60622

(312) 744-4016 or (312) 744-6777 (TTY)
Southeastern Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc.

Counties served: Crawford, Edwards, Hamilton, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne, and White.

516 Market Street

Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

(618) 262-2306 0r (800) 635-8544 (618 area code only)
West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Counties served: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Hancock, Pike, and Schuyler.

639 York Street, Room 204

Quincy, IL 62301

(217) 223-7904 or (800) 252-9027 (Voice & TTY)
Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Counties served: Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, McDonough, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, and Warren.

729 34th Avenue

Rock Island, IL 61201

(309) 793-6800

Veterans Affairs

Veterans and their dependents can get assistance from their local VA offices with transportation, long-term care, financing, and other services. Visit or contact a center near you for guidance on the best support options and eligibility for you or your aging loved one.

VA Office Address Phone Number
Chicago Regional Office 2122 West Taylor St.

Chicago, IL 60612

(800) 827-1000
Cook County Veterans Affairs 118 N. Clark Street, Room 801

Chicago, IL 60602

(312) 603-6423
DeKalb County VAC 2500 N. Annie Glidden Road, Suite A

DeKalb, IL 60115

(815) 756-8129
DuPage County VAC 421 N. County Farm Road, 2nd Fl – Rear of Cafeteria

Wheaton, IL 60187

(630) 407-5655
Effingham County VAC 1011 Ford Ave

Effingham, IL 62401

(217) 342-4979
Illinois Veterans Affairs Department 108 N Main St.

Taylorville, IL 62568

(217) 287-7474
Kane County 254 Raymond Street

Elgin, IL 60120

(847) 608-0138
Lake County VAC 20 S Martin Luther King Jr Ave.

Waukegan, IL 60085

(847) 377-3344
Lee County Veterans Assistance 309 S. Galena Ave., Suite 101

Dixon, IL 61021

(815) 288-5683
Madison County VAC 157 North Main Street, Suite 115

Edwardsville, IL 62025

(618) 296-4554
McHenry County VAC 667 Ware Road, Room #100

Woodstock, IL 60098

(815) 334-4229
McLean County VAC 200 W. Front Street, Suite 400D

Bloomington, IL 61701

(309) 888-5140
Peoria County VAC 3116 N Dries Lane, Suite 200

Peoria, IL 61604

(309) 681-2554
Sangamon County VAC 200 S. Ninth St., Room 104

Springfield, IL 62701

(217) 753-6680
Springfield Vet Center 2980 Baker Drive

Springfield, IL 62703

(217) 492-4955 or (217) 492-4955
Will County VAC 2400 Glenwood Ave. 1st Fl.

Joliet, IL 60435

(815) 740-8389

Social Security Offices

Reach out or visit a Social Security office in your area to gain a better understanding of social security benefits and other types of assistance that can help you or your aging parent with assisted living costs.

Social Security Office Address Phone Number
Alton 501 Belle St., Room 103

Alton, IL 62002

(855) 285-6006
Aurora 1325 N. Lake Street

Aurora, IL 60506

(877) 274-5412
Belleville 1670 Lebanon Ave

Belleville, IL 62221

(877) 405-0471
Bloomingdale 230 West Lake Street

Bloomingdale, IL 60108

(800) 772-1213
Bloomington 207 N Williamsburg Dr

Bloomington, IL 61704

(877) 405-4640
Carbondale 250 W Cherry, Room 104

Carbondale, IL 62901

(877) 714-0377
Champaign 101 S Country Fair Dr

Champaign, IL 61821

(877) 819-2593
Chicago 2416 S Pulaski Road

Chicago, IL 60623

(800) 772-1213
Chicago Heights 104 S.halsted Street

Chicago Heights, IL 60411

(800) 772-1213
Danville 400 N. Vermilion St.

Danville, IL 61832

(866) 331-5394
Decatur 606 W Pershing Rd

Decatur, IL 62526

(800) 772-1213
East St Louis 650 Missouri Ave

East St Louis, IL 62201

(877) 700-4849
Effingham 1207 Network Centre Dr, suite 2

Effingham, IL 62401

(855) 213-5288
Elgin 790 Fletcher Drive
Elgin, IL 60123
(800) 772-1213
Evanston 2116 Green Bay Rd
Evanston, IL 60201
(800) 772-1213
Freeport 4 E Linden St

Freeport, IL 61032

(855) 628-1591
Galesburg 2060 Windish Drive

Galesburg, IL 61401

(877) 405-7659
Harrisburg 18 Veterans Drive

Harrisburg, IL 62946

(866) 366-3980
Hillside 230 North Mannheim Rd

Hillside, IL 60162

(800) 772-1213
Joliet 552 Houbolt Rd

Joliet, IL 60431

(866) 783-7302
Kankakee 630 E. Oak St.
Kankakee, IL 60901
(855) 807-8801
Litchfield 1107 W Ferdon
Litchfield, IL 62056
(877) 319-3077
Mount Prospect 705 North Wheeling Rd
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
(800) 772-1213
Mount Vernon 105 S 6th Street
Mount Vernon, IL 62864
(866) 931-2549
North Riverside 7222 W Cermak Rd, room 600
North Riverside, IL 60546
(800) 772-1213
Palos Hills 10718 S Roberts Rd

Palos Hills, IL 60465

(800) 772-1213
Pekin 2801 Broadway

Pekin, IL 61554

(877) 405-0499
Peoria 815 W Pioneer Parkway

Peoria, IL 61615

(877) 319-6039
Peru 915 Wenzel Rd

Peru, IL 61354

(800) 772-1213
Quincy 2401 Lind Street

Quincy, IL 62301

(888) 279-5999
Rock Island 2350 4th Ave

Rock Island, IL 61201

(800) 772-1213
Rockford 502 E Jefferson St

Rockford, IL 61107

(800) 772-1213
Springfield 3112 Constitution Dr.

Springfield, IL 62704

(877) 279-9504
Sterling 3512 E Lincolnway
Sterling, IL 61081
(866) 789-1093
Waukegan 1930 N Lewis Ave
Waukegan, IL 60085
(888) 320-0960
West Frankfort 1005 Factory Outlet Dr
West Frankfort, IL 62896
(618) 937-2431
Woodridge 7440 Providence Dr
Woodridge, IL 60517
(866) 303-2724
Woodstock 2450 Lake Shore Dr
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-3751

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Illinois

Assisted Living Assessment and Service Plan

Each new resident must have a completed physician’s assessment no more than 120 days before moving into an assisted living facility (ALF). The assessments have to be re-evaluated on an annual basis.

Within 24 hours after admitting a resident, a licensed practical or registered nurse at the ALF is required to complete or co-sign an initial assessment and service plan.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities in Illinois offer personal care services, scheduled and unscheduled 24-hour supervision and assistance, assistance with medication (administration, assistance, and preparation), and nursing services.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

Illinois’ Medicaid offers a Supportive Living Program waiver managed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to help the elderly cover the cost of services they receive in an ALF.

Assisted Living Requirements

ALFs in Illinois are private single-occupancy apartment units that may be shared by choice. Each unit has a minimum of 300 square feet of living space and must have lockable doors, full bathrooms, an emergency call system, heating and cooling controls, and wiring for a private telephone line.

Freestanding facilities with two or more stories that houses 75 or fewer residents must have at least one elevator, and those with more than 75 residents are required to have a minimum of two elevators.

Medication Management Regulations

Residents may self-administer their own medication. If a resident is unable to administer his or her own medicine, a licensed nurse may do so. Licensed nurses are also allowed to set up residents meds using pill caddies, remind them to take their medication, and monitor residents to ensure they self-administer their medication correctly.

Staffing Requirements

The facility must have the appropriate number of licensed and certified staff to meet the scheduled and unscheduled needs of the residents it is serving. There must also be at least one qualified and CPR-certified direct care staff awake and on duty 24 hours a day.

Staff Training Requirements

Direct care staff are required to receive training related to their job duties within 30 days after being hired, as well as twice a year.

Managers must have a minimum of five years of experience in providing health care services to the elderly or adults with disabilities, and a minimum of two years of management experience.

Background Checks for Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities in Illinois are required to comply with the Health Care Worker Background Check Act. They cannot hire or retain anyone who has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit one or more of the disqualifying offenses set forth in section 25 of the act. The only exception is if the individual has a waiver granted by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an elderly adult who is living in an assisted living facility may report this suspicion to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ ALF Complaint Hotline: (800) 226-0768.

If you suspect the assisted living facility or its employees are in violation of the rules and regulations, especially in regards to a resident’s rights, contact the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in your area.

Assisted Living Communities in Illinois

To find out about the top assisted living communities, read our city guides that provides in-depth reviews for facilities certified by the Assisted Living Research Institute.

City Approved Facilities
Chicago 29