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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.

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How to Pay for Assisted Living in Illinois

Determining how to finance assisted living often starts with the question, “What’s the cost?” In today’s economy, where inflation plays a significant role, having current data is crucial for senior living financial planning. has gathered cost information from its expansive network of over 75,000 senior living providers. This data offers a glimpse into the average expenses for assisted living in Illinois and 111 additional cities within Illinois.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in Illinois

In Illinois, inflation between 2022 and 2023 did not affect assisted living costs, as they dropped by 4.5% to $4,742. In contrast, the national average was less at $4,459; the rate of inflation was 10%. The cost in Illinois is average compared to neighboring states, with Wisconsin and Indiana averaging $4,992 and $4,357, respectively. Costs in Iowa increased by 2.5%, while in Missouri they dropped by 6%.

In the future, costs in Illinois are projected to increase to $5,313 by 2024, and national costs are estimated to be $4,802. This is why planning for senior care expenses is vital.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
Illinois $4,959 $4,742 $5,313
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
Wisconsin $4,269 $4,992 $5,606
Indiana $4,360 $4,357 $4,699
Iowa $4,770 $4,879 $5,006
Missouri $4,488 $4,217 $4,318

Assisted Living Costs in Illinois's Top Cities

Taking a look at the major cities in Illinois shows a wide range of assisted living costs. Chicago, the largest city, has one of the higher costs at $5,941 a month, while Rockford, averaging $5,143, was also on the high side. In the capital city of Springfield, seniors pay slightly less at $4,927 per month. On the economically friendly side, Hoffman Estates averages $3,987. This wide range of costs shows why planning is important.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Different types of senior living vary in their costs. Assisted living offers basic personal care for seniors who need a little extra help, and it averages $4,742 a month in Illinois. Adding memory care for seniors with dementia or other memory loss conditions increases the cost to $5,790. Those who need just a little extra help with housekeeping and maintenance may choose independent living, which is the most affordable option at $2,775 monthly.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

In Illinois, a multitude of resources are available to support seniors during their retirement years. has gathered data on various local entities, initiatives, and agencies, and organized them according to the type of care they provide for effortless navigation.

Area Agency on Aging

Your local Area Agency on Aging is a valuable resource for retirees, offering guidance on financial aid, in-home care, and long-term care planning. They also link seniors and caregivers to community resources.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Area Agencies on Aging


Illinois’ 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

In Illinois, financial aid programs are available to support low-income seniors in maintaining their home-based living. These programs offer tax relief, essential service discounts, and assistance with home heating and cooling expenses.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Lifeline Program


The 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

Financial aid is available for seniors in Illinois who prefer to age in place. Various local entities provide support for expenses like home care, home adjustments, and utility bills.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF)


The Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund provides low-income residents facing financial hardship with up to $30,000 in grants to catch up on past-due mortgage and property tax payments, homeowners insurance payments, mobile home lot rent or homeowner association fees.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Seniors in Illinois, whether residing independently or in a senior living facility, have access to various local financial aid options. These entities assist in offsetting certain in-home or long-term care expenses and link them to beneficial community resources.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois HCBS Waiver for the Elderly


The 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.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

Financial aid is available for low-income seniors in Illinois living communities through local programs. These resources provide valuable assistance, helping older adults afford long-term care services.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Supportive Living Program


Seniors who receive Medicaid coverage can take part in the Illinois Supportive Living Program, 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.

Food Assistance Programs

In Illinois, various local initiatives are dedicated to promoting senior health through balanced nutrition. They offer services like meal delivery, communal dining, and food banks, ensuring elderly residents have access to affordable, nutritious food.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Meals on Wheels


The 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)


The 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.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Illinois, numerous groups are addressing the steep expense of new medical equipment. They gather gently used items like wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, providing them to local seniors and individuals in need.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Assistive Technology Program


Illinois 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 Disabled (D4D)


Devices 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 Outreach


Hospital 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 Care


St. 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 Loans


The 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

In Illinois, numerous programs are available to aid seniors and individuals with disabilities in financing home modifications and repairs. These programs, offering grants or loans, have diverse eligibility requirements specifically designed for retirees.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP)


Through 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 Program


The 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.

In Illinois, numerous agencies provide affordable or complimentary legal assistance to the elderly. They offer counsel on matters like estate management, living wills, and power of attorney. Some even serve as advocates for seniors’ rights in long-term care facilities.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Adult Protective Services (APS)


Illinois 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 Program


The 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

In Illinois, a variety of programs and resources are available for seniors to stay engaged and active. These include wellness initiatives, volunteering options, and support networks, all aimed at fostering community involvement and enhancing life quality.

Program Name

Phone Number


Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter


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.

Illinois SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline


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.

Illinois Senior Helpline


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.

RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center (RADC)


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.

Social Security Offices

In Illinois, Social Security offices provide essential services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. They offer guidance on retirement benefits, disability allowances, and Supplemental Security Income.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Social Security


Social 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

Numerous tax aid resources are available in Illinois for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. These include potential exemptions on medical costs, property tax reductions, and other tax relief initiatives.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Property Tax Relief


The 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

Organizations are available to aid low-income seniors in {} struggling with home maintenance costs, including utility and energy bills. Emergency funding may also be accessible for those at risk of utility service termination due to unpaid bills.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)


The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity provides utility bill assistance to senior citizens through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Recognizing the financial difficulties experienced by the elderly, the agency focuses on providing support primarily during the winter months, when utility costs generally increase. Eligible households must have incomes not exceeding an annual limit determined by the department.

Veteran’s Services

Veteran services in Illinois offer invaluable assistance to retired military personnel. These local entities guide veterans in utilizing their rightful benefits and provide counsel on diverse matters.

Program Name

Phone Number


Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs


Throughout 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 Care


The Illinois VA Benefits and Health Care system is designed to ensure that senior veterans have access to all the support services and benefits available to them. The website lists locations throughout the state where seniors can meet with officers to determine which benefits they may be eligible for and assist them in applying for benefits. In addition, it lists VA health centers where senior veterans can receive the care and support they require.

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.

Illinois COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/7/22. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your assisted living facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Rules in Illinois
Are loved ones allowed to visit residents in their assisted living community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents required to quarantine after their loved ones visit? No
Are loved ones required to wear masks when visiting residents? Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors allowed in assisted living communities? Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures before entering the assisted living community? Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the assisted living community for non-medical reasons? Yes
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they get back to the assisted living community? No (Conditions Apply)
Are assisted living communities required to cancel all group outings? No
Are assisted living communities allowed to host group activities within the community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms? Yes
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)