When most people think of the state of Illinois, the city of Chicago comes to mind, along with its deep-dish pizza, its tall skyscrapers, and its many cultural destinations. What many people may not know about the Land of Lincoln is that the median age is about 38 years old (meaning half of the population is under that age while the other half is over that age) and 16% of all Illinois residents are senior citizens (aged 65 and older). These numbers mean that Illinois has a pretty significant senior population. Illinois is also a good representative of the entire country because of similar statistics.
Because Illinois has a sizable senior population, it’s necessary to look at assisted living and other living options for seniors. Here’s a look at the assisted living and independent living options for seniors.
Assisted living communities in general provide assistance to seniors citizens, like the name suggests. While some independent living facilities may provide assistance with cooking and housekeeping, assisted living facilities provide assistance with other activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing/undressing, and toileting— in addition to cooking and housekeeping. Some assisted living facilities provide much more assistance than others. This doesn’t include home health care services because this service is provided in the home.
These are retirement homes that offer different levels of assistance, making them perfect for seniors who’d like to remain in one place as they age. Many seniors over the age of 55 in Illinois are still a part of the workforce, so they may choose to live independently in this community. As they grow older and require more assistance, they’ll have access to assisted living and even skilled nursing if necessary.
Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities provide the most in-depth, round-the-clock care for its residents. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is common in Illinois, but they’re typically the best care options for seniors who need specialized care and cannot live on their own. The good news is that the best nursing homes typically have lower incidences of abuse and neglect, but the downside is that they’re some of the most expensive assisted care facilities in the state and in the entire country.
Respite care is a type of care that gives caregivers a break from caring for their aging family members. Caring for an aging family member that needs a lot of assistance is a lot of hard work, and burnout can occur. This can also lead to elder abuse and neglect, and respite care centers take on the full-time care of an elderly individual for a short period of time, giving caregivers some rest.
Adult day care facilities are similar, except they take on part-time daily care, rather than full-time care on a temporary basis. They’re also much more affordable than respite care, at an average cost of $23,400 per year compared to $62,050 per year in respite care.
Aging in place is the most common type of independent living and the most preferred living arrangement among seniors everywhere. This is where a person of senior citizen age remains in their own home because they’re still able to continue their daily activities with little to no extra help.
Seniors who move in with family members can also be classified as “aging in place” because they’re still in a residential building and many seniors like the idea of living with family. It’s considered independent living if family members take on less of a caregiver role and the senior can still perform the majority of daily activities independently.
Retirement homes are still pretty popular among seniors in Illinois and all over the country. They’re considered to be independent living facilities because the residents don’t receive help with the majority of their daily activities. Seniors may choose to live in a retirement home because their home isn’t safe for them to live in alone or because they want to live among their peers.
These are some of the most common living options for seniors living in the state of Illinois. Other examples include hospice care for terminally ill seniors and other patients, and memory care for those experiencing memory problems such as dementia. Overall, seniors who can safely and comfortably live on their own and perform daily activities independently can age in place. On the other hand, those who need a lot of assistance should look into assisted living facilities.