Because of the specialized staff training and resources required to provide high-quality memory care, memory care typically costs more than other types of residential care. On average, memory care will cost 20-30% more than assisted living.
According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019, the cost of assisted living in Illinois averages $4,170 per month, which is slightly higher than the nationwide average of $4,051 per month. Based on the statewide average cost of assisted living, families can expect to pay between $5,004 and $5,421 per month for memory care. Compared to its bordering states, Illinois is relatively expensive for assisted living. More affordable care may be found in Kentucky ($3,497), Indiana ($4,100), Iowa ($4,078) and Missouri ($2,881). Only Wisconsin has more expensive average assisted living costs at $4,350 per month.
Assisted living costs vary widely throughout different regions of the state. In Springfield, for example, the cost of assisted living is on par with the statewide average at $4,170 per month. In the state’s capital city of Chicago, on the other hand, the average monthly fee for this type of care is $4,740. In Decatur, assisted living is considerably more affordable at $3,646. These are standard assisted living rates; families should expect to pay an additional $1,000-$2,000 per month for memory care services.
HealthChoice Illinois provides a wide range of services and long-term supports for adults aged 65 and over. This program is mandatory for those who qualify for Medicaid, including those who also qualify for Medicare. It is a consolidation of several programs, including the Integrated Care Program, the Family Health Program and the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Program. All Illinois counties have the same four available plans, including BlueCross Community Health Plans, IlliniCare Health, Meridian Health Plan and Molina Healthcare, and Cook County residents may also select CountyCare Health Plan or NextLevel Health Partners. All plans cover basic services like hospice care, behavioral health services and therapy, though some plans may offer extra benefits.
The Illinois Medicaid-Medicare Alignment Initiative provides streamlined services for those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, enabling them to receive all services through one plan. In addition to covering basic services, such as mental health services, prescription drugs and doctor visits, it features additional benefits, including adult day health care and assistance with daily living activities. This program is only available in the Greater Chicago region and Central Illinois.
The Supportive Living Program provides personal care and other services to low-income seniors who qualify for nursing home care, but prefer to live in an assisted living facility. While room-and-board expenses are not covered, either in assisted living or in memory care, supportive services like personal care, homemaking and laundry, medication management and recreation are included. This Medicaid waiver program has limited funding, meaning that eligible applicants may be placed on a wait-list.
The NFCSP provides grants to states to fund programs for caregivers who care for loved ones in their own homes. Among these programs, which are typically administered by local Area Agencies on Aging, is the Respite Program. While this program doesn’t directly fund memory care services, it can provide caregivers with the support they need to delay moving their loved one to a residential facility. Generally, caregivers receive a voucher for a dollar amount or a certain number of hours for which respite care is approved.
In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
|800-272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter provides an array of support services, education, training and support for those who are affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.|
|Regional Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Centers|
|217-782-2570||Illinois is home to three ADA centers that provide diagnostic evaluation, treatment and referrals for seniors with Alzheimer’s, as well as research initiatives.|
|The Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program|
|217-223-7904||This resource provides access to free and low-cost caregiver support services.|