Illinois Memory Care

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Illinois Memory Care: Communities caring for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia care

One of the most desirable aspects of Illinois is the fact that the state has ranked for 19 of America’s safest cities. Seniors and retirees, families and young people looking to find a comfortable new home love Illinois. All these aspects make Illinois a premiere place for our aging population to call home. As our population ages, some seniors may require care at some point. When most people think of senior care they envision a nursing home. Nursing homes are far from the only option for seniors in need of specialized care and housing. A growing number of people living in long-term care communities live with cognitive impairment. Memory care uses specialized methods to care for residents. Memory care in Illinois provides care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a safe and comfortable environment.

Aside from memory care in Illinois for people with Alzheimer’s, there are a variety of senior living and care options which suit the requirements and desires of seniors.

Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living: 

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.  
     
  • Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.  
     
  • Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations). 
     
  • Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care. 
     
  • Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements. 
     
  • Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.

Navigating memory care: care for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in Illinois

Memory care communities are designed for residents with Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) and dementia care. These specialized care communities create programs designed to meet the needs of people who require specific care; specially trained staff and a secure environment to ensure the safety of residents.

Aside from memory care facilities, you may come across other common terms: 

  • Assisted living facility 
  • Continuing care 
  • Convalescent home 
  • Retirement community 
  • Old folks’ home

Services offered in memory care in Illinois

  • Services are coordinated by specially trained staff to perform a range of services designed to support residents 24-hours a day. 
  • Commonly, a memory care community will have entrances and exits that require a code to get in and out. The communities are secured for the safety of residents. 
  • Standard procedures meet the needs of health, daily living activities, and the social needs of residents. 
  • Memory care communities may have organized calendars to keep residents engaged and active. These communities and relationships promote healthy and happy lives. 

Additional services in memory care facilities in Illinois may include:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living for people with Alzheimer’s. This includes bathing, dressing and toileting. 
  • Round the clock access to trained nurses. 
  • Transportation to doctors’ appointments and additional outings.  
  • Interior and exterior maintenance duties. 
  • Meal preparation and serving. 
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. 

Memory care in Illinois typically offers exclusive features designed for the safety of residents with dementia:

In a memory care community, the focus of activities is to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged and active as possible. Typically, activities may be like the kind offered in other residential communities. The positive difference is the modification to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged.

  • Security cameras to supervise entry and exit points in the community. 
  • Personal medical alert devices. 
  • Keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering. 
  • Safety protocols in place which may include locked doors. 

Activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents

  • Arts and crafts. 
  • Music 
  • Dancing
  • Secure outdoor open-air courtyards. 
  • Swimming pools. 
  • Lounges for residents. 
  • Game rooms 
  • Dining rooms 
  • Fitness centers 

Laws and regulations in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health licenses all assisted living and shared housing establishments. In Illinois, memory care is provided in assisted living facilities.

How much does memory care in Illinois cost?

Typically, memory care is more expensive than other forms of senior care because of the specialized care provided, and the trained staff, and specific safety measures in place for the comfort and safety of residents. To calculate the cost of memory care in Illinois, generally add 20-30% to the cost of assisted living. The average cost of memory care in Illinois is $5,610 per month, slightly less than the national average.

The cost of memory care communities within the state of Illinois vary depending on the city or county in which you are seeking care.

  • The Illinois state average for memory care is $5,610 per month.
  • Chicago: $6,050
  • Rockford: $6,600
  • Decatur: $5,500

How to pay for Illinois memory care

You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.

The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.

Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.

Medicare – NO:

  • Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
  • People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
  • Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.

Private pay – YES:

  • Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
  • Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
  • Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.

Medicaid – MAYBE:

  • Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
  • Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
  • Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
  • National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
  • The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
  • If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.

Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:

Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.

  • Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
  • Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.

Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:

This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.

  • There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
  • A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
  • If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.

Questions to Ask

Finding an assisted living community can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:

  • Make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. You can tell a lot about the operation by noting what is clean and maintained. Are doorknobs loose or damaged? Do you see any frayed carpet or trip hazards?
  • Visit during lunch hour to observe what the residents are eating. Ask questions about the nutrition program. Is there diversity in meals, healthy fruits and vegetables served at all meals, drink options?
  • Speak to residents and/or family members to learn their perspective.
  • Ask about staff and resident engagement. Get a feel for how staff interact with residents.
  • Ask about the life enrichment programs. Activities are crucial when it comes to quality of life and play a key role in care for older adults.
  • And finally (along with a plethora of more things to consider), get to know the leadership in the building. If you feel good around the Executive Director, Head Nurse, Lead Activities Director and even the Chef or Janitor, it is a good sign you can trust them with the care of your loved one.

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services DFSS Senior Services is designated through the Older Americans Act, and by the Ilinois Department on Aging, as the Area Agency on Aging for the city of Chicago and provides a range of services that allow older adults to remain healthy, safe and independent.

Illinois Department on Aging Area Agencies have the primary task of planning and coordinating services and programs for older people in their respective areas. The Area Agencies receive funding from the Department based on a formula which takes into consideration the number of older citizens and minorities in that area, as well as the number living in poverty, in rural areas, and alone.

AgeOptions As the Area Agency on Aging of suburban Cook County, Illinois, we advocate, plan, coordinate and fund services for older adults. Together with a network of community-based senior service organizations, we connect residents with vital services such as information and assistance, community dining programs and home-delivered meals, housekeeping help, employment services, access to benefits and support for family caregivers.

Adult Protective Services Hotline To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, age 60 and above or a person aged 18-59 with a disability, call the statewide 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline

Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings

Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.

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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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