When you’re looking for an aging services community where you can feel at home, it’s important to know the different types of aging care that are available to you. In Illinois, that means understanding the difference between assisted living and supportive living, so you can choose the right community with confidence.

Both supportive living and assisted living offer similar housing options, programs and types of care, but how you pay for that care is different.

The difference between assisted living and supportive living in Illinois

“Supportive living” is a special type of community in Illinois, which gives you access to all of the benefits of assisted living along with financial assistance if you need it. While supportive living is specific to Illinois, many states have similar programs with different names.  

In Illinois’ supportive living communities, Medicaid can pay for many services if you run low on money while living there. You may be able to access the same services in an assisted living setting or through home care, but you can only use Medicaid in supportive living communities.

Services covered by Medicaid in supportive living settings include:

  • personal care
  • homemaking
  • laundry
  • medication supervision
  • social activities
  • recreation
  • 24-hour staff

Even when Medicaid begins covering these services, you will still need to pay for your room and meals. However, that money will go a lot further with this help from Medicaid.

Could supportive living be right for you?

Supportive living could be right for you if you have some money saved for future health care but want peace of mind about running out of resources. If you expect to run out of private funding, you may apply for Medicaid to pay for your services.

That means you won’t have to move out just because money becomes tight. As long as all your care needs can be met in supportive living, you can live and stay fully involved in the community.

How do I know where to find supportive living?

If you’re looking for supportive living in a particular part of the state, you can use the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ search tool to find communities. You’ll see names and locations of approved communities there that you can research or visit.  

Illinois only licenses supportive living communities after a thorough application process. You can be confident that these communities meet or exceed guidelines on staffing, safety and more.

Now that you know the difference between assisted living and supportive living, do you think supportive living would fit your needs? If so, learn more about Chicago Methodist Senior Services’ supportive living community, Covenant Home of Chicago.

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