Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's, is a serious, growing problem. In fact, 1 out of every 10 adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. As Chicago’s senior population continues to grow (11.4% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Chicago, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 34.7% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 4.3%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.91% in Chicago vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
In order to help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer's find the support and care that their loved ones need, we've compiled information below about the cost of Memory Care, how to get financial assistance to help make care more affordable, free resources, etc. Also included are reviews of the best memory care facilities in the area, which cover pricing, types of care provided, residents' reviews, and more.
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For memory care facilities, COVID-19 rules and regulations are typically set at the state level. You can view specific rules on our guide to memory care in Illinois. These rules change often, and many communities have policies in place that go above and beyond what's required by the state, so you should contact your local community for more information. Additionally, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging to learn more.
Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
The cost of memory care in Chicago is $6,031 per month, more than both the state average of $5,610 and the national average of $5,625.
Chicago's average is $421 higher than the state average and $406 higher than the national average. It's $532 less than Rockford, the most expensive city in the state with an average cost of $6,563. Memory care in Springfield, the state capital, is $6,388 per month, $357 more than Chicago. Located about 60 miles south of Chicago, Kankakee has a monthly average of $5,779 or $252 less than Chicago. With an average of $4,406 per month, Carbondale is the most affordable city with an average that's $1,625 less than Chicago.
In Chicago, the average monthly cost of in-home care is $5,672, while home health care is $5,720. These averages are $359 and $311 less than memory care, respectively. Adult day health care services cost $1,842, more than $4,000 less than memory care. With an average of $4,825, assisted living costs about $1,200 less than memory care. The average cost of nursing home care is $6,996, making it $965 more than the cost of memory care.
Since not everyone can afford to pay for memory care out-of-pocket, it's important to find alternative methods to help make memory care more affordable. Some of these options include:
For more information about your options for making assisted living more affordable, visit our guide to Memory Care in Chicago.
Seniors and caregivers who need assistance finding long-term memory care services may benefit from services offered by any of the agencies or programs listed below. Organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association offer programs for seniors with early-stage and late stage cognitive impairment.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 83% of all caregivers are unpaid family members, relatives, or other friends, and nearly half of all care is for older adults with some form of dementia. Caregiving, especially when it involves Alzheimer’s or dementia, is extremely exhausting and time-consuming, leading many caregivers to feel isolated and overwhelmed.
As a loved one continues to progress through the stages of dementia and his or her cognitive abilities continue to decline, behavioral problems, safety, and general care often become more than one caregiver can handle. This is when it’s important to find extra help, and residential facilities that have specialized memory care programs are often the best solution.
In addition to providing a safe environment, memory care programs seek to delay or halt cognitive decline while providing the opportunity for a social, independent lifestyle.
To choose the best memory care facilities in Chicago, our team of researchers started by using our unique methodology to develop a list of contenders. We further refined the list in the next phase of our process by completing hands-on research for each one of the companies that we developed. Finally, we compiled online reviews from residents and families and wrote summaries of each facility that made it through our selection process.
Overall, our team:
Belmont Village Oak Park works to promote successful aging with thoughtfully designed community spaces and engaging programs for residents. The community's Whole Brain Fitness program offers a range of daily activities specially designed to promote continued learning and combat memory loss. Physical fitness is also a top priority at Belmont Village and a state-of-the-art gym and physical therapy center are both located on sight. This community has been designed to reflect the local Oak Park culture both inside and out with furnishings and artwork collected from the region. Local fare is also on offer at Belmont Village's restaurant-style cafe Josephine's Kitchen. Professional chefs prepare over 24 menu options daily and residents have access to coffee, tea and snacks between meal times. A full-time concierge is on sight 24/7 to arrange rides to and from off-sight outings and appointments.
This facility has gained high marks for its impressive facilities, including this review from a resident's family member, who said, "From the moment we walked in, we felt the warmth and friendliness. Staff and residents smile, seem happy and content. The facility is clean and easy to get around. Everyone is helpful! We couldn't be more pleased."
Hartwell Place memory care blends in with the surrounding neighborhood and has a homey vintage interior. Memory care residents get nutritious meals planned with their needs in mind. To further keep those living there secure, measures are taken to prevent wandering. Services include music and memory therapy, shared spaces to encourage interaction with other residents and assistance with the tasks of daily living. Scheduled transportation is available for those with appointments or errands, and residents can accompany friends and family to lunch and elsewhere while out and about in the Windy City.
Visitors regularly praise the friendly setting and delicious food choices at the facility. "We were pleasantly surprised to find that the environment was friendly, nicely decorated and very pleasant to be in. My friend liked the vintage vibe - she prefers this over a state of the art high-rise building," said one visitor.
For over 100 years, Norwood Crossing has been providing top-notch care for seniors in the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. A recipient of the Best Nursing Homes award by U.S. News for 2018-2019, this facility provides assisted living and memory care services to seniors. With a full schedule of daily activities and special events, from religious services and exercise classes to book clubs and live entertainment, residents are kept active and socially engaged. The specially trained staff in dementia care at this community are committed to providing supportive care to seniors in need. Norwood Crossing maintains a homelike, secure setting and loving environment, promoting dignity and confidence in all its residents.
One online reviewer said, "My parents are living here and I believe my family is very happy so far. I think the staff at the facility is very attentive; they’ve had the nurses coming to the room, and have done a pretty good job with the medication."
As the first Catholic senior living nursing home in Chicago, Illinois, the St. Joseph Village is managed by Franciscan Ministries and is driven by its mission to celebrate life and serve with joy. Offering memory care as one of its major services, the facility is manned by a highly skilled and attentive staff that provides round-the-clock, personalized care and ensures a safe, supportive environment for its residents. Amenities include nutritious dining options, spacious apartments, home maintenance and life enrichment activities. On top of these amenities, the St. Joseph Village looks after the spiritual well-being of its residents. Outdoor spaces within the community offer beautiful venues for meditation and reflection. On-site spiritual services are also available, including Catholic mass, traditional religious services, Chaplain services and Bible studies. While the community actively promotes Catholic services, it welcomes people of all faiths.
Families of residents praised the caring, attentive and communicative staff, described by one reviewer as “wonderful people and committed to their mission.” A number of reviewers also appreciate the church services they offer. One relative says, “I asked God for a place with people who have a heart like His and we received oh so much more."
Nestled in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, Illinois, Sunrise of Lincoln Park is a few blocks from Lake Michigan. This facility offers assisted living and memory care along with respite and hospice care through skilled nursing services. The staff at the senior living community ensures that residents have a fun and active lifestyle through a Live With Purpose program that includes song and movement along with memory to engage their minds and bodies. Residents enjoy group outings to local attractions, such as Lincoln Park and the many nearby restaurants and shopping centers.
One visitor’s online review states, “Sunrise of Lincoln Park was very bright, had very nice accommodations and seemed to be a very caring place. They also have dementia care apartments. They had a piano that someone was playing, there were people singing, and there was a dog that people seemed to be interacting with. They also had a garden and an activities room. It seemed to be a very inviting place.”
The Clare is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast, so residents don't have to travel far to attend a symphony or enjoy area museums. The facility's lux interior includes many thoughtful details geared toward residents' comfort, including an upscale lobby for welcoming guests. To stay sharp and socialize, residents can join weekly clubs, such as the Great Discussions for political aficionados, book clubs and Spanish or French classes. There are three eateries within the facility, ranging from a simple coffee shop to a fancy restaurant where residents can join friends or visitors for a relaxing meal. Those who enjoy walking can stroll on the wraparound roof terrace and take in city views. For more specific fitness goals, a personalized program to keep everyone relaxed and looking great was developed by on-site staff members and features an indoor aquatic center as well as a salon and spa.
One visitor to the facility said, "The facility was excellent, like a 5-star hotel. They had the medical facilities, a wellness center and an emergency team that can take you to the hospital or an ambulance. The staff was very well organized."