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Senior Living in Illinois: Living Options for Senior Citizens


When it comes to the state of Illinois, about 35% of the population is over the age of 50, which is comparable to that of the United States as a whole. However, senior citizen age is considered to be aged 65 and older, and seniors in Illinois (and all over the U.S.) face the challenge of determining where to spend the rest of their lives in terms of living arrangements. Here’s a look at some of the living options that seniors have.

Independent Living Options

As the name suggests, independent living means that seniors can live on their own. This can be in their own home, in an independent living facility, or it can even mean moving to a different town/state/country to retire— as long as they’re living independently.

Aging in Place

Aging in place refers to a senior remaining in their own home, as opposed to moving into assisted living or even an independent living facility. Studies have shown that this living arrangement has the most positive effects on seniors’ mental health— particularly if they’re able to successfully age in place. Successfully aging in place means that a senior can live safely and comfortably in their home. This is also the most affordable living option.

Retirement Communities

Most retirement communities are independent living facilities that serve senior citizens and even those aged 55 to 64. Illinois has more than 650 independent living facilities ready to serve older adults who don’t need consistent care. These facilities are usually apartment-style homes with amenities for seniors to enjoy, and some even offer transportation services as well. Retirement communities in Illinois can cost anywhere from $575 to $3,575 a month.

Assisted Living Options

Assisted living facilities provide various degrees of assistance. Illinois has more than 800 assisted living facilities for seniors to choose from, based on their needs. Because assisted living covers a broad spectrum, it can cost anywhere from $1,050 to $6,500 a month. This is one of the more expensive options for senior living, but sometimes it’s the only option a senior has.

Retirement Homes with Assistance

As mentioned earlier, some retirement homes give more assistance while others are completely independent. Some homes assist with housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, and cleaning. However, seniors living in this type of facility are still mostly independent and don’t require round-the-clock care. Some retirement homes also have continuing care, meaning that residents can start fully independent and receive assistance with care later, if necessary.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are the most common type of assisted living facility, and they offer the most care. Residents of nursing homes cannot live independently in a safe way and require round-the-clock care. Unfortunately, some residents of nursing homes experience abuse and neglect because such a high level of care is required and often hard to meet. Victims of this abuse/neglect should contact a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer.

Other Living Options

Independent and assisted living are the only two options— there are combinations of the two and other special scenarios.

Moving in with Family

Some seniors choose to move in with their children or grandchildren for various reasons. In fact, multigenerational households are becoming more common these days. This is great for the peace of mind of the children and grandchildren to have their older loved one under the same roof as them, and it can also be helpful financially. However, it can also be stressful for all parties living under one roof.

Adult Day Care and Respite Care

Adult day care centers are similar to childcare centers, in that they provide care during the day— except the care is for seniors. This is a good option for caregivers who may be caring for their aging parent or grandparent, but still have to work, run errands, etc., and their aging loved one isn’t fully independent.

Respite care is similar to adult day care centers, except that care lasts longer— anywhere from one day to a few months. The goal of respite care is to temporarily relieve caregivers of the stress and burdens that come with caring for an aging loved one, particularly one who is experiencing health problems.

Hospice Care

Hospice care is care for someone who is terminally ill, and this can be someone who is elderly or someone who is young. The goal of hospice isn’t to give medical treatment, but to make the terminally ill individual feel comfortable in their last days. Because we’re more susceptible to illness as we age, most patients in hospice care are older.

As you can see, there are many options for living for seniors in Illinois, and it all depends on the needs of the senior. Ideally, you’ll want to remain independent as much as possible to avoid having to depend on another party for care and to avoid end of life care.

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