Memory Care in Illinois |

Memory Care in Illinois

According to the Alzheimer's Association, an estimated 230,000 Illinois seniors were living with Alzheimer's disease as of 2020. It's estimated that by 2025, that number will increase by 13% to 260,000. Sadly, 3,954 seniors died of Alzheimer's in 2019, making it the sixth-leading cause of death in the state.

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide will cover the cost of memory care in Illinois, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Illinois.

The Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

When figuring out how to pay for memory care, you first need to understand how much it will cost for your loved one to move to a quality community. As costs continue to rise, it's vital to have the latest details when planning for elderly care costs. In order to shed light on the impact of inflation on senior living costs, has gathered cost information from its network of over 75,000 senior living communities. These prices are based on the cost of Memory Care in Illinois and 66 other cities in Illinois.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Illinois

Memory care prices increased substantially over the past year from 2022 to 2023, prompting many families to plan their finances with inflation in mind. While costs in Illinois jumped 9%, this is in contrast to a slightly greater rise of 10.5% nationwide. Most surrounding states also experienced inflationary pressure, with memory care costs rising from $5,620 to $6,083 in Wisconsin and expected to hit $6,768 in 2024, based on trends. Care costs climbed 6% in Indiana but may drop 2% heading into 2024, while they increased by $901 in Tennessee and $130 in Missouri.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792

Memory Care Costs in Illinois's Top Cities

Comparing memory care costs across cities in Illinois can help families plan for the future and save considerable amounts of money. At an average price of $3,721, care is highly affordable in Naperville, while living in Aurora can save families $535 per month, and they may achieve similar savings of $555 in Rockford. However, care costs $792 more in Chicago than the state's $5,790 norm‬.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Memory care costs $5,790 in Illinois, covering staff, amenities and services relevant to seniors with dementia. Because this type of care is expensive, families might consider other options when possible. Assisted living communities can be viable at $4,742 per month, as they provide daily care and some have staff familiar with dementia. While averaging just $2,775, independent living offers minimal support, so it may not suit seniors with advanced memory loss.

Illinois Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Illinois Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income seniors and disabled individuals residing throughout the state. While regular Medicaid only covers the cost of institutional care, such as that provided in nursing homes, managed care programs and waivers that amend the program's coverage limitations are available to help seniors access safe and affordable memory care services.

  • Who Is Eligible: To qualify for Medicaid as a senior, applicants must be aged 65 or older with an annual household income not exceeding $18,755 annually, or $25,268 for couples.
  • How To Apply: To apply for Medicaid in Illinois, seniors can complete their application online or contact the Application for Benefits Eligibility hotline at (800) 843-6154.

Healthchoice Illinois

Healthchoice Illinois is the state's managed Medicare plan. It provides long-term support, along with other necessary health care services, for seniors aged 65 and older. All care is coordinated by a dedicated case manager who can help seniors find doctors, specialists and other important resources. 

  • Who Is Eligible: Healthchoice Illinois is open to seniors who are eligible for Medicaid, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
  • How To Apply: Applications for Healthchoice Illinois can be completed and submitted online.

Illinois Medicaid-Medicare Alignment Initiative

The Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative is a managed care program that's open to seniors with full Medicaid and Medicare benefits. It streamlines the services provided by both plans, helping seniors combine coverage to access care more easily. Thanks to this program, seniors can access services such as memory care and personal care while residing in a long-term care facility. 

  • Who Is Eligible: This plan is only open to seniors who participate in both Medicaid and Medicare and live within the service area, which includes Central Illinois and the Greater Chicago Area.
  • How To Apply: Seniors who wish to enroll in this program can contact the Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative by calling (877) 912-8880.

Illinois Supportive Living Program

The Illinois Supportive Living Program helps low-income seniors who require a nursing home level of care but prefer to remain in assisted living. It offers funding for the services provided in assisted living or memory care facilities, including personal care, housekeeping services, medication management and social and recreational activities. However, seniors participating in this program must pay their own room-and-board expenses.

  • Who Is Eligible: This program is open to seniors who are Medicaid-eligible and require a nursing home level of care. Furthermore, those wishing to participate in this program must be able to reside safely within an assisted living or memory care facility. This program has income limitations, and as such, some seniors may be placed on a waiting list upon approval.
  • How To Apply: Applications are processed by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Long-term Care. Seniors can start their applications by calling this department at (844) 528-8444.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Illinois

Seniors in Illinois are subject to maximum income and asset limits to qualify for Medicaid coverage. While a single applicant can't earn more than $18,755 per year, those coming from a two-person household, whether applying independently or together, are subject to an annual household income limit of $25,268. Assets are counted as well in consideration for Medicaid eligibility. A single applicant can't own more than $2,000 in countable assets, while applicants in two-person households applying together are limited to $3,000 in countable assets.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Illinois

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$18,755$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$25,268$2,000 for applicant & $109,560 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$25,268$3,000

In addition to the above income limits, seniors must also meet the following requirements to qualify for Medicaid: 

  • Be aged 65 or older or qualify as legally blind or disabled
  • Be a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident or legal alien
  • Permanently reside in Illinois

How To Get Help Applying For Medicaid in Illinois

Assistance programs are available to Illinois seniors who need help navigating the Medicaid application process.

The ABE Health Benefits Hotline800-843-6154The Health Benefits Hotline is a state program that provides Medicaid counseling services as well as help with determining eligibility and completing applications.
Get Care Illinois877-805-5312Get Care Illinois helps seniors navigate the application process and, when necessary, can help them determine if they already have Medicaid coverage. The Shriver Center on Poverty Law provides this service.
Illinois Department of Insurance877-527-9431The Department of Insurance helps consumers understand health and other insurance policies, including Medicaid. Its representatives can assist seniors in determining their eligibility for coverage as well as with completing Medicaid applications.

Can You Use Medicare To Pay for Memory Care in Illinois?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.

That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.

More Ways To Pay for Memory Care in Illinois

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It's best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.
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Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Illinois

Memory Care Regulation

In Illinois, memory care is provided in assisted living facilities, which are classified as assisted living establishments, shared housing establishments and supportive living facilities, depending on the accommodations they provide and how they’re funded. The Illinois Department of Public Health licenses and monitors assisted living and shared housing establishments, and the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services governs supportive living facilities, which are Medicaid-approved residential settings for low-income adults.

Assisted living facilities that provide care for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia through special care units or freestanding centers are required to disclose this information to their governing agency as well as the resident or their representative.

Information that must be provided in writing includes:

  • Their dementia treatment philosophy
  • What distinguishes the facility as appropriate for residents with dementia
  • Its preadmission, admission and discharge procedures
  • How care needs are assessed and care plans implemented
  • Its minimum and maximum staffing ratios
  • Its physical environment
  • The types of activities it provides
  • The degree and nature of family involvement and the cost of memory care

Facility Scope of Care

Memory care facilities located within assisted living or shared housing establishments are required to provide services, including housekeeping, laundry, security, emergency response systems and assistance with four or fewer activities of daily living. Residents may contract with home health agencies for care beyond what is provided by the facility. Additionally, facilities are required to provide at least 1.4 hours of services daily for each memory care resident.

In supportive living facilities, residents receive a wide scope of personal and health-related services. These include personal care, medication management and assistance with self-administration, social, recreational and exercise programs, emergency call systems, monitoring by a 24-hour security staff, emergency call systems, health referrals, transportation services, daily checks and maintenance services. Nursing services must also be provided, including assessments, short-term medication administration assistance for self-administered medications and health counseling.

Admissions Requirements

To be admitted to a facility that offers memory care, adults must be at least 22 years old, and their care needs must fall within the scope of care provided by the facility.

Seniors who aren’t eligible for admissions include those who:

  • Pose a threat to others or themselves
  • Are unable to communicate their needs
  • Need total assistance with two or more or partial assistance with five or more activities of daily living
  • Require more than minimal assistance with moving to a safe area in the event of an emergency
  • Are diabetics that require routine insulin injections by a licensed healthcare professional or require routine sliding scale insulin injections

Care Plan Requirements

Prior to admission to an assisted living or shared housing establishment, a prospective resident must receive a comprehensive assessment by a physician to evaluate their physical, cognitive and psychosocial condition. At least one specified tool, including the Functional Activities Questionnaire, the Functional Assessment Staging and the Clock Drawing Test, must be used to assess the prospective resident’s stage in the Alzheimer’s disease process.

In supportive living facilities, residents receive an initial assessment within 24 hours of admission and a comprehensive assessment within two weeks of admission by a licensed practical or registered nurse.

Medication Management Requirements

Memory care facilities may provide medication reminders to residents and supervise the taking of self-administered medication, as well as medication administration by a licensed healthcare professional employed by the facility as an optional service.

Medication has to be stored in its original container in a locked cabinet, container or room that is inaccessible to residents. A separate medication record must be maintained for each resident that includes their name; the name, dosage, directions and route of administration of the medication; the date and time of when the medication is supposed to be given; what time it’s actually given and the signature or initials of the employee who administered the medication.

Facility Requirements

Facility requirements for memory care facilities vary depending on whether they’re located within an assisted living establishment, a shared housing establishment or a supportive living facility.

In assisted living and shared housing establishments, each unit must have a bathroom with an operational toilet, sink, mirror, bathing facilities, a means of ventilation and assistive devices as necessary. Additionally, each unit in an assisted living establishment must be able to accommodate small kitchen appliances.

In supportive living facilities, units licensed on or after October 18, 2004, must have a full bathroom, lockable doors, emergency call systems, a kitchenette with a sink, microwave or stove and a refrigerator and a separate bedroom for each occupant.

Staffing Requirements

In assisted living and shared housing establishments, the manager and a sufficient number of staff members must have the qualifications, education, skills and experience to meet memory care residents’ around-the-clock scheduled and unscheduled needs.

In supportive living facilities, there must be at least one licensed nurse on-site at all times to provide medication management services, and there must be at least one CNA on each shift per 10 residents.

Medicaid Policy

Services in supportive living facilities are covered by Medicaid’s Supportive Living Program waiver program. Medicaid does not pay for services provided in assisted living or shared housing establishments.

Reporting Abuse

Assisted living and shared housing establishments are required to report suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation to the Department of Public Health within 24 hours after receiving the allegation, and they must investigate and develop a written report within two weeks of the initial report. Supportive living facilities must report suspected abuse to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Abuse can also be reported to the regional ombudsman, through the Senior HelpLine or to the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Unit.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Illinois

In Illinois, there is an abundance of resources designed to assist seniors throughout their retirement. has compiled information on a range of local organizations, programs, and agencies, categorizing them based on the care services they offer for easy browsing.

Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging in Illinois is a crucial asset for retired individuals, providing advice on financial assistance, home-based care, and planning for extended care. It also connects seniors and their caregivers with local resources.

Illinois Area Agencies on AgingIllinois' Area Agencies on Aging provide vital services and support for older adults and caregivers. They offer programs that promote independent living, health, and overall well-being. AAAs assess needs, create care plans, and connect seniors with services like transportation, meal programs, and in-home assistance. They also provide counseling on Medicare, Medicaid, and other benefits. These agencies advocate for seniors, ensuring they have access to the resources necessary for dignified aging.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Illinois to help seniors with low income sustain their home living. These initiatives provide tax reductions, discounts on crucial services, and aid for home temperature regulation costs.

Illinois Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers discounted telephone service, enabling participants to stay connected with their loved ones through landline or mobile phones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Elderly individuals in Illinois, living independently or in elderly care homes, can avail of numerous local financial support opportunities. These aid options help reduce in-home or long-term care costs and connect them to valuable community resources.

Illinois HCBS Waiver for the ElderlyThe Elderly Waiver program helps seniors receive essential care and services at home, avoiding the need for institutionalization. It includes coverage for homemaker services, adult day care, and vital devices such as automated medication dispensers and personal emergency response systems.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

In Illinois, local initiatives offer financial support to seniors with low income residing in community living spaces. These resources are crucial in assisting elderly individuals to manage the costs of long-term care services.

Illinois Supportive Living ProgramThe Supportive Living Facilities waiver enables seniors on Medicaid to receive personalized care services while maintaining their independence in the community. This program allows participants to customize their experience based on their individual needs.

Food Assistance Programs

In Illinois, numerous community programs focus on enhancing the health of seniors via proper diet. These initiatives provide meal delivery, shared meals, and food bank services, guaranteeing that older citizens can obtain reasonably priced, healthy food.

Illinois Meals on WheelsThe Illinois Meals on Wheels Program provides nutritious meals and safety checks to seniors and individuals with disabilities or limited mobility. Participants pay based on income, ranging from free to full price. Meals are delivered by volunteers on weekdays, while community gathering places offer meals for those with transportation.
Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-843-6154The Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps eligible seniors aged 60+ and low-income families access nutritious food. To qualify, seniors must be Illinois residents and meet income criteria. Benefits are distributed through the electronic Illinois Link Card, accepted at grocery stores statewide for most food items and even seeds and plants for home gardens. The card cannot be used for purchasing alcohol, tobacco, beer, or wine.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Illinois, several organizations are tackling the high cost of new medical devices. They collect lightly used equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, distributing them to local elderly and those requiring assistance.

Illinois Assistive Technology Program800-852-5110The Illinois Assistive Technology Program offers assistive technology equipment loans, funding, and training. This includes a variety of aids for household accessibility, video magnifiers, TV amplifiers, and vehicle modification tools.
Illinois Devices 4 the Disabled (D4D)773-870-1553Devices 4 the Disabled is a non-profit organization that collects donated equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, and walkers. These supplies are then distributed to individuals who require them.
Illinois Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach217-525-8843Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach is dedicated to supplying medical supplies and equipment to low-income seniors and disabled individuals globally. We also provide convenient personal delivery services to those living in the Midwest United States. Our mission is to improve access to healthcare for those in need, ensuring they receive the essential resources they require for a better quality of life.
Illinois St. John's Community Care618-344-5008St. John's Community Care in Collinsville offers a lending program that provides free access to essential supplies such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes, and bath chairs. These items are available to anyone in need, ensuring that individuals have the necessary support and mobility aids. Improve your quality of life by visiting our Collinsville location to borrow these supplies.
Illinois Village of Schaumburg Medical Equipment Loans847-895-4500Residents of Schaumburg can borrow medical equipment from the Village for up to 90 days, requiring a small security deposit. Equipment options include canes, bedside tables, bathtub seats and rails, and wheelchairs.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Illinois, a variety of programs exist to support seniors and those with disabilities in funding home improvements and repairs. These initiatives, providing grants or loans, feature different eligibility criteria tailored for retired individuals.

Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP)217-785-2533Upgrade your home with weather-resistant improvements. Our program offers older adults assistance with air sealing, insulation, HVAC repair or replacement, water heater repair or replacement, and ventilation services. Enhance comfort and energy efficiency in your home. Apply now to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient.
Illinois Section 504 Home Repair Program800-225-5342The Section 504 Home Repair Program offers financial aid to low-income seniors in rural areas nationwide. Its goal is to address health hazards and make necessary modifications to their homes. To learn about eligible housing, please visit the United States Department of Agriculture Eligibility website.

In Illinois, there are several organizations offering cost-effective or free legal aid to senior citizens. They provide advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills, and power of attorney. Some also champion the rights of the elderly in long-term care establishments.

Illinois Adult Protective Services (APS)866-800-1409Illinois Adult Protective Services partners with 40 provider agencies across the state to handle reports of abuse and neglect concerning seniors and disabled individuals. This program investigates cases that are not under the jurisdiction of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, guaranteeing the safety and welfare of vulnerable individuals. If you suspect abuse, exploitation, or neglect of a senior, our 24-hour helpline is here to offer immediate assistance.
Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman ProgramThe Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program offers complimentary support to seniors residing in assisted living and long-term care facilities. Our dedicated advocates ensure that residents receive high-quality care and promptly address any concerns related to abuse or neglect. We collaborate with seniors and their families to resolve issues and thoroughly investigate allegations. Our program is committed to providing support and protection to seniors in need.

Senior Engagement

In Illinois, numerous initiatives are in place to keep seniors involved and energetic. These encompass health programs, opportunities for volunteer work, and supportive communities, all designed to promote social participation and improve the quality of life.

Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter847-933-2413The Alzheimer's Association provides up-to-date information on resources, respite care, and memory care units for seniors, families, and caregivers. They also raise funds to support ongoing research on Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases.
Illinois SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline877-360-5428The hotline offers LGBTQ seniors access to local support services, including memory care. Trained staff are ready to assist with aging concerns specific to the LGBTQ community and provide crisis response care. Call now for help and to connect with the resources you require.
Illinois Senior Helpline800-252-8966The Helpline provides comprehensive support and resources for seniors aged 60 and above, as well as their families and caregivers. Our experienced team offers valuable information, referrals, and assistance with transportation, assisted living facilities, and long-term care solutions. Contact us now to access the guidance and support you require.
RUSH Alzheimer's Disease Center (RADC)312-942-7100The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, supported by the National Institute on Aging, offers thorough evaluations and consultations for individuals affected by Alzheimer's disease. Our team of expert physicians specializes in diagnosing and treating dementia-related illnesses. We also conduct research to enhance our knowledge of these conditions and create groundbreaking strategies for their treatment.

Social Security Offices

In the city of Illinois, Social Security offices are crucial resources for the elderly and those with disabilities. They provide advice on retirement perks, disability benefits, and additional security income.

Illinois Social SecuritySocial Security offers financial support to retirees and those unable to work due to disability. It is funded through payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Monthly payments during retirement are based on past earnings.

Tax Assistance

In Illinois, a variety of tax assistance options exist for seniors and people with disabilities. These encompass possible medical cost exemptions, property tax cuts, and other tax alleviation measures.

Illinois Property Tax ReliefIllinois offers tax exemptions and exceptions for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and Veterans. Eligibility criteria vary, but seniors typically need to be 65 or older and have a low-to-moderate income.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Illinois, there are establishments ready to assist seniors with limited income facing challenges with home upkeep expenses, such as energy and utility bills. Emergency financial support might be available for individuals threatened with utility disconnection due to outstanding payments.

Illinois Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)833-711-0374The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides utility bill assistance to senior citizens. It aims to ease financial burdens during the winter months when utility costs tend to increase. Eligibility is determined by household income, which must not exceed the department's annual limit.

Veteran's Services

In Illinois, retired military personnel can find essential support through local veteran services. These organizations help veterans access their deserved benefits and offer advice on a variety of issues.

Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs800-437-9824Illinois offers Veterans Administration centers that provide essential support to veterans and their spouses. These centers help individuals access senior care, residential options, and other benefits earned through military service. They serve as valuable resources, connecting eligible individuals with the assistance they deserve.
Illinois VA Benefits and Health CareThe Illinois VA Benefits and Health Care system offers senior veterans a range of support services and benefits. The website provides information on locations where seniors can meet officers to determine eligibility and receive application assistance. It also lists VA health centers that provide comprehensive care and support for senior veterans.

Illinois COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/7/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?Yes
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?No (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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