Illinois Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Illinois

Illinois, which is also known as the "Prairie State", draws retirees who are looking to experience the unique blend of culture and hospitality. Continuing care retirement communities welcome senior adults who are looking to retire, and live the rest of their years in a community that has everything to offer.

Abbreviated as CCRCs, these communities offer several levels of care within one setting, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care. They accept adults who are over a certain age, generally over 55 or 62, who are healthy and capable of covering the associated fees (financial eligibility can be strict). Waiting lists for admittance are quite long, and it might take even years before someone is accepted. For this reason, it is always for the best to apply early in life.

There are over 80 retirement communities of this kind in the state of Illinois. These cover the area of Chicago, Cook County, Northern Illinois and Central Illinois. Communities serviced include: Aurora, Barrington, Chicago, Elmhurst, Geneva, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Lisle, Rockford, Rock Island, Schaumberg, and Woodstock.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Illinois - financing and costs

The continuing care retirement communities located in the state of Illinois are often funded by private investments, falling in the "for profit" category. However, the state sometimes contributes to their development, engaging in private-public partnerships. There are also "non-profit" CCRCs, often under the wing of a religious organization (faith-based).

Admittance is approved upon the resident being able to cover a rather substantial entrance fee, which can range between $30,000 and $500,000. However, depending on the chosen contract and the location, this fee can go as high as $1,000,000. The entrance fee covers future health care costs, among other things. The monthly fees vary between $2,100 and $7,400; in Cook County, for instance, the average cost is of $2,900. This fee is higher than the national average, which is around $2,500.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Illinois - care levels and services

A senior living community offers several care levels within one setting, as mentioned above. The first is the one of independent living, recommended for residents who are healthy and independent. Help is provided in the form of housekeeping, maintenance and meal plans. Assisted living is suitable for residents who require assistance with daily living activities, including bathing and dressing, walking and transferring, and toileting.

The skilled nursing care is offered to seniors who have chronic health issues, requiring round-the-clock medical and personal assistance. Memory care is the next level of care, with full support for residents who suffer from deteriorating neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The significant advantage is that residents can move from one level of care to other, without having to leave the respective community. Transitions are decided after a thorough medical assessment, as well as based on the changes in the resident's ability to maintain an independent lifestyle.

Upon admittance, residents can decide on the type of contract that suits their needs the best. This will also determine the services and level of assistance offered. Life care contracts are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health, under the Illinois Life Care Facilities Act, ensuring that the prospective resident will have access to healthcare and personal assistance for life (regardless of the changes in personal finances and health status).

A common contract is the one in which the resident covers the entrance fee to become a member of the Illinois-based CCRC, followed by monthly fees for meals, housekeeping, and maintenance. A second type of contract allows the resident to pay a lower entrance fee. However, should he/she need to move from one level of care to the other, the monthly fees will increase accordingly. Hybrid contracts include a number of free days in the assisted living or skilled nursing care levels, and there are also rental-based contracts, where there is no entrance fee but the monthly fees are considerably higher.

CCRC in Illinois - amenities and options

Illinois-based CCRCs offer prospective residents the opportunity to choose a housing unit that suits their needs the best. Common choices include one or two-bedroom apartments, as well as townhouses and cottages. Depending on their personal preference, they can live alone or with their spouse. Some of these retirement communities accept people with pets, but it might be a good idea to verify their pet policy before applying for admittance.

Among the most common amenities, there are: on-site healthcare services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy), accessible living options, climate control, Wi-Fi, memory care gardens, swimming pools, tennis and golf courts, common living areas, religious worshipping, social clubs, learning centers, art studios. Many retirement communities in Illinois have libraries, movie theaters, cafes and restaurants, hair salons, beautiful outdoor spaces, gardening classes, and so on.

The restaurant-style dining is appealing, with CCRC residents having the opportunity to eat home-cooked meals every day, prepared from fresh and healthy ingredients. Special diet options can be considered, and snacks are offered as well. Resident programs include music and pet therapy, exercise and fitness classes, art classes, etc.

How can I know if life in a CCRC is right for me?

If you are considering moving into an Illinois-based CCRC, we recommend that you take your time and do a thorough research. You can ask one of your loved ones to help you with the process, so as to make sure that you are really choosing a place where you will feel comfortable. Here are a few pros and cons that might also help.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in IL

Continuing care retirement communities in IL allow you to age in place and move to a new level of care that will satisfy your healthcare and personal assistance needs

You can maintain an independent lifestyle, without the burden of household chores

Access to healthy meals, prepared from fresh, seasonal ingredients (special diet options included)

Round-the-clock medical and personal assistance

Memory support unit for those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease or dementia

Cons of moving to a CCRC in IL

You have to apply early in life, as the admittance approval can take months or even years (might not feel comfortable taking this decision just yet)

The prolonged adjustment period might cause you to feel stressed, frustrated or anxious (it is normal, however, to long after your old life)

Not all senior adults are used to making friends within such communities, despite the numerous opportunities for socialization

Substantial fees to be covered

The need for assistance might be perceived as frustrating at some point

We hope that you will choose a retirement community that allows you to live your golden years exactly in the way you imagined. Illinois CCRCs have a lot to offer, but make sure you select the one that feels right.

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