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|
Serves: Suburban Cook County.
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 383-0258 or (800) 699-9043
Counties served: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington.
2365 Country Road
Belleville, IL 62221
(618) 222-2561 or (800) 326-3221
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)
Counties served: Fulton, Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.
700 Hamilton Boulevard
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 674-2071 or (309) 674-1831 (TTY)
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
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
Counties served: Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Jefferson, and Marion.
434 S. Poplar
Centralia, IL 62801
(618) 532-1853 or (877) 532-1853
Counties served: DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
245 W. Roosevelt Road – Building 6, Suites 41-43
West Chicago, IL 60185
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)
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 744-4016 or (312) 744-6777 (TTY)
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)
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)
Counties served: Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, McDonough, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, and Warren.
729 34th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
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|
2122 West Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60612
118 N. Clark Street, Room 801
Chicago, IL 60602
2500 N. Annie Glidden Road, Suite A
DeKalb, IL 60115
421 N. County Farm Road, 2nd Fl – Rear of Cafeteria
Wheaton, IL 60187
1011 Ford Ave
Effingham, IL 62401
108 N Main St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
254 Raymond Street
Elgin, IL 60120
20 S Martin Luther King Jr Ave.
Waukegan, IL 60085
309 S. Galena Ave., Suite 101
Dixon, IL 61021
157 North Main Street, Suite 115
Edwardsville, IL 62025
667 Ware Road, Room #100
Woodstock, IL 60098
200 W. Front Street, Suite 400D
Bloomington, IL 61701
3116 N Dries Lane, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61604
200 S. Ninth St., Room 104
Springfield, IL 62701
2980 Baker Drive
Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 492-4955 or (217) 492-4955
2400 Glenwood Ave. 1st Fl.
Joliet, IL 60435
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|
501 Belle St., Room 103
Alton, IL 62002
1325 N. Lake Street
Aurora, IL 60506
1670 Lebanon Ave
Belleville, IL 62221
230 West Lake Street
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
207 N Williamsburg Dr
Bloomington, IL 61704
250 W Cherry, Room 104
Carbondale, IL 62901
101 S Country Fair Dr
Champaign, IL 61821
2416 S Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60623
104 S.halsted Street
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
400 N. Vermilion St.
Danville, IL 61832
606 W Pershing Rd
Decatur, IL 62526
East St Louis
650 Missouri Ave
East St Louis, IL 62201
1207 Network Centre Dr, suite 2
Effingham, IL 62401
790 Fletcher Drive
2116 Green Bay Rd
4 E Linden St
Freeport, IL 61032
2060 Windish Drive
Galesburg, IL 61401
18 Veterans Drive
Harrisburg, IL 62946
230 North Mannheim Rd
Hillside, IL 60162
552 Houbolt Rd
Joliet, IL 60431
630 E. Oak St.
1107 W Ferdon
705 North Wheeling Rd
105 S 6th Street
7222 W Cermak Rd, room 600
10718 S Roberts Rd
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Pekin, IL 61554
815 W Pioneer Parkway
Peoria, IL 61615
915 Wenzel Rd
Peru, IL 61354
2401 Lind Street
Quincy, IL 62301
2350 4th Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201
502 E Jefferson St
Rockford, IL 61107
3112 Constitution Dr.
Springfield, IL 62704
3512 E Lincolnway
1930 N Lewis Ave
1005 Factory Outlet Dr
7440 Providence Dr
2450 Lake Shore Dr
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.
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.