Independent Living for Seniors in Illinois

Independent living is a great option for older adults. It is a good way for seniors to continue enjoying life while staying active and involved in their community. They can also benefit from socialization and companionship.

The older generation is more educated than its predecessors and wants to lead a meaningful life. This generation wants to age well and not be dependent on family or children after retirement. Although the elderly are more financially secure than previous generations, they still face challenges as they grow older. For instance, mobility impairments can make it difficult for a senior to safely drive. Additionally, some vision impairments can cause an elderly person to have a harder time noticing hazards. Seniors who live alone are at a greater risk for falling.

The Cost of Independent Living in Illinois’s Top Cities

Independent living costs vary significantly throughout Illinois. In Chicago, the state’s biggest metropolitan area, the average cost is $3,136 a month, which is much higher than the state’s average. Rockford near the Wisconsin border has the highest average cost of $3,413 a month. Springfield, the state’s capital city, averages $3,322 a month. Yet some areas are much lower, such as Peoria, which averages $2,685 a month, and Carbondale, which averages $2,291 a month. Decatur in the state’s central area has an average independent living cost of $2,848, while just to the north of Decatur in Bloomington the average jumps to $3,354 a month.

Moving to an independent living facility can be an emotional transition for an older adult. Having to leave familiar surroundings and friends can leave older adults feeling anxious and vulnerable. If they move, they should give themselves time to adjust to their new surroundings. As they get used to the idea, they should enjoy their new lifestyle and spend time with their loved ones.

Make Independent Living More Affordable in Illinois

Seniors living in Illinois that want to utilize independent living services have a number of options to help make it more affordable. These include:

  • Reverse Mortgages: These loans take out the equity in a senior’s home in a monthly payment, without the need to immediately sell the property.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: If a senior has long-term care insurance, it can cover a portion of independent living costs.
  • Life Insurance: Many seniors can take out money against their life insurance policies, depending on how the policy is structured.
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit: Taking out a line of credit against a home’s equity can be an option for some seniors.
  • Annuities: Annuity funds can sometimes work towards paying independent living costs.

There are several things that you should know about moving to an independent living facility. You should choose a facility that meets your needs and has the features and amenities that you desire. When you choose a place, make sure it is licensed, safe, and provides a healthy lifestyle.

Many seniors have to sell their homes to afford an independent living facility. They may also worry about rising property taxes and home repairs. However, many of these expenses can be avoided. By selling their homes, seniors can have cash on hand to fund the next chapter in their lives.

The benefits of independent living are many. Some of the best include being able to keep their home, no longer having to work, and maintaining their freedom. In addition, they have access to a wide range of services and activities. These facilities are designed to meet the specific needs of the elderly.

Before moving, take the time to visit a prospective independent living facility. You can use the Internet to research facilities in your area. Once you have found a facility, you should ask about the amenities that are included in the membership fees. Ask about how the community is prepared for emergencies and what kinds of services are available.

Illinois Supportive Living Program

​Illinois developed the Supportive Living Program (SLP) as an alternative to nursing home care for low-income older persons and persons with physical disabilities under Medicaid.

By offering personal care and other services, residents can live independently and take part in decision-making. Personal choice, dignity, privacy, and individuality are emphasized.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has obtained a “waiver” to allow payment for services that are not routinely covered by Medicaid. These include personal care, homemaking, laundry, medication assistance, social and health activities, recreation, and 24-hour staff to meet residents’ scheduled and unscheduled needs. The resident is responsible for paying the cost of room and board at the facility.  

If you are considering independent living for your senior, it is important to select a facility that will provide the services you want. You can also choose a community that offers exercise and fitness classes and communal meals. Your preferences can change over time, so it’s important to have a variety of choices available.

Make sure the facility you choose has a qualified and experienced staff. If you are concerned about health and safety, choose a facility with staff members trained in basic lifesaving skills. Similarly, if you plan to use the facility’s professional services, make sure the facility is licensed and accredited.