The United States is considered to have an aging population, with more than 45 million adults being of senior citizen age (65 and older). Illinois’s senior statistics are comparable to the U.S.’s, and senior living is a top concern. Here are five types of residences that seniors can make their home.
#1: Residential Homes
Most senior citizens in Illinois and all over the U.S. prefer to continue living in their current homes, and this is known as aging in place. In several studies, aging in place was found to have the best impact on senior citizens’ mental health, possibly due to the familiarity of their surroundings and their ability to remain independent. However, seniors who may need extra help from time to time can hire home health aides to provide this additional help while allowing them to remain in their own homes.
Some seniors may choose to move in with other family members. This option is usually for the family’s peace of mind, but it also allows seniors to maintain their independence, if they can. Other seniors may move in with family because they haven’t always maintained their health and it’s safer for them to live with others. These families may also use one of the more than 100 adult daycare centers in Illinois to temporarily relieve them of this care.
#2: Retirement Communities
Retirement communities in Illinois are apartment-style communities that serve adults aged 55 and older. This is also known as an independent living facility because the adults here still have a significant level of independence and don’t require round-the-clock care. Illinois has more than 650 independent living facilities across the state, and they also offer various amenities and services such as:
- Meeting rooms
- Swimming pools
These retirement communities can be as expensive as over $3,000 each month, especially those in the Chicago area. Others (outside of Chicago) are more affordable at $575 a month.
#3: Memory Care and Nursing Homes
Memory care and nursing homes are two types of assisted living facilities, and they’re for seniors who need constant, round-the-clock care such as those suffering from various types of dementia. Illinois has more than 800 assisted living facilities for seniors with varying needs of assistance. The average cost of assisted living care in Illinois is around $5,000 a month.
Unfortunately, assisted living facilities (especially nursing homes) have a higher risk of elder abuse than other types of care for older adults. This could be because nursing homes are often overpopulated and understaffed, and the residents are often vulnerable and unable to protect and speak up for themselves. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers can hold nursing homes accountable for the abuse of their patients.
#4: Respite Care
Like adult day care centers, the purpose of respite care is to relieve caretakers (who are usually family members) of their daily, yet difficult, duty of caring for an aging loved one. The difference is that adult day care centers work like most child care centers and provide relief for a few hours, whereas respite care provides longer, yet temporary, relief (usually for a few days to even a few months). This type of care is available for people of all ages.
The more than 800 respite care centers across Illinois have been lifesavers for caregivers. Respite care reduces the likelihood of both elder abuse and child abuse by family members— which is more likely among caregivers taking care of family members with disabilities.
#5: Hospice Care
Hospice care is end-of-life care for senior citizens and people of any age with a terminal illness. The goal of hospice care is to make patients as comfortable as possible, as opposed to attempting to cure their illnesses. This means that they receive pain medicine and palliative care rather than treatment.
Illinois has about 150 hospice care centers. Unfortunately, some senior citizens develop terminal illnesses and no longer respond to treatment. Medicare usually covers the cost of hospice care, but to be eligible a doctor has to determine that the senior has less than six months to live.
Where a senior spends the rest of his or her life depends on where they’ll be the safest and well-taken care of. Those who are still independent can choose to age in place or move to a retirement community. Those who need varying levels of extra care can choose among having a home health aide, moving in with the family (which may also include adult day care or respite care), or assisted living. Finally, some seniors with a terminal illness may choose hospice care while others may choose a nonclinical setting, such as their home.