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The search for senior care can be overwhelming, time consuming and stressful. Evaluating senior living options is not a simple process and it is easy to become frustrated and confused by all the different amenities, services and pricing options.

Senior Living Experts reduces your anxiety by providing you with your best Chicago senior care choices.

Our personalized service evaluates your care needs, budget and geographical preference.

We do the legwork for you! We will match you with a the best senior living communities that match your needs. We will even take you on tours of the best Chicago senior living communities that will meet your requirements.

No other referral service in the area can offer our level of service.

Our senior living advisors have over 70 years combined experience in the senior living industry. It is our passion to advocate for the families and help you find the best solution for your unique situation in addition to saving you time.







These communities primarily were designed for an “active” senior looking for a solution that allows them to enjoy their retirement. In a retirement community, residents no longer have to worry about the upkeep of a home, but can enjoy a maintenance free town house or condo. Some communities include golf courses and clubhouses and are built on a beautiful campus.

Residents usually start out with an apartment and, if care needs increase, they can bring in care. (See In-Home Care) If, however, their needs increase or the needs of a spouse increase, the campus usually has assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

Understanding the fees, contracts and payment structures of a CCRC can be very confusing. Sometimes an endowment fee is required upfront in addition to a monthly rental fee. These fees can range from a couple of thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each property has a different refund policy and some do not require them at all. Some will accept Medicaid in their long term care, and some will not. Most of them do have short term rehab that is Medicare certified.


Chicago Independent Living Centers & Facilities

Independent living is usually an apartment building with services for seniors. The idea is to allow older adults to maintain their independence. Some meals, weekly housekeeping and utilities usually are included in the rent. In addition, most independent living communities offer a full array of daily social, recreational and educational events designed to enrich life both in and out of the building for no additional charge.

Amenities and services are usually very important when searching for independent senior living. Seniors are looking for a worry free lifestyle and that is what independent living is designed to achieve.

There usually are some safeguards built into the apartments such as pull cords (to reach a nurse or attendant call station) and accessible bathrooms. If one moves into an independent living apartment and more care is needed, usually the property has a partnership with a company that can provide care a la carte such as help with escorts and medication reminders.

Each community has different age range requirements but as a general rule, most of them are minimum age of 62-65 and up.

Private-duty caregivers also can be hired to come and go as needed. Most independent living communities have parking for resident cars. Pricing is determined by location as well as the size of the apartment. You can usually find a good selection of studios and one and two bedroom apartments. Currently in the Chicagoland area the monthly rental fees can range from $1000 – $5000.

Independent living is most often paid for via private funds. Some senior housing communities are subsidized and your local area agency on aging typically maintains a list of subsidized housing and entrance requirements.

Independent living is not licensed by any federal or state agencies.


Assisted living is designed for those who need help with one or more daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, taking medication and walking.

The level of care in each assisted living building can vary, which is why you should contact Senior Living Experts help you decide which place can provide the care you need now and in the future. For example, some assisted living communities will help with incontinence and some will not.

Costs include a staff of care managers who will help with care needs, so that technically a private-duty caregiver is not required. Activities, housekeeping and three meals a day are standard.

Apartments can be shared or private. Apartments include a private bathroom and at least a “kitchenette” area. Many assisted living homes were built to resemble a house and have large inviting common areas. Activities are also an important part of the day. Some buildings even have pets and allow you to bring your own from home. The state of Illinois regulates licensed assisted living.

Costs can range from $3,000 – $5,000 month depending on the level of care required, the location and the size of the apartment


According to the 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report, an estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease. This figure includes 5.1 million people aged 65 and older. One in eight people aged 65 and older (13 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 70 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s.

Those with memory impairment require special care, safety and supervision. Sometimes dementia can cause someone to wander, so any place that does have this type of care is secure. In addition, medication administration usually is built right into the cost.

As the disease progresses, care needs can increase and residents need for reminders are provided. Most of these residences are specially designed to help cue the residents. For example, memory boxes filled with old photos are placed near the door to help guide residents to their rooms and to allow the staff to learn more about the residents’ history. The space is designed to help them live as independently as possible.

There are visual tools that help – such as lights that automatically turn on when you enter the bathroom, or a darker wall against a white sink to give better depth perception.

Meals are usually served in a traditional ‘family style’ manner – which is both familiar and comforting and removes too many overwhelming choices that a restaurant style meal might do.

Anxiety and irritability are taken into consideration in the calming colors and familiar furnishings. Those with the disease can become disoriented to time & place or experience decreased judgment. Many things from the past are around that are familiar and comforting and a well trained staff knows how to incorporate these tools when the residents is starting to get anxious or confused.

Staff has been trained to deal specifically with the disease and involve residents in enjoyable daily activities and ones at which they can feel successful. Structure and routine are important and need to be built into daily activities. Adequate staffing is essential.

Costs can range from $4,000 – $7,000 a month. Residents can share suites or have private studios.


The state of Illinois developed the Supportive Living Program for lower income seniors who might otherwise find themselves in a nursing home. They took the assisted living concept of apartment-style housing with personal care and provide it as on alternative for seniors who can no longer live at home. Help with activities of daily living, housekeeping, laundry, medication supervision, social activities and 24-hour staff are provided.

There is a Medicaid waiver that helps pay for supportive living for those who qualify. A resident must also undergo a determination of need regarding care. Each Medicaid-eligible resident must have income equal to or greater than the current Social Security income ($579 single person) and must contribute all but $90 each month to the provider for lodging, meals and services. For additional information see SLF Illinois. The monthly fee for private pay is around $2,550.


For those who require 24-hour skilled care, a nursing home is usually the best option. However, some people who think they may need a nursing home can do quite well in some assisted living homes. Contact us for more information.

Costs for skilled nursing care starts around $6000 a month. If you are on Medicaid and need a skilled nursing home, Senior Living Experts will provide you with a list of those that accept Medicaid.




Senior Home Care Agencies professionally manage both the caregiver and the care to make sure all the care needs are being met. They also make sure back-up caregivers are available when the assigned Caregiver needs a day off or must take a sick day, insuring the senior has the same benefits they would receive in a nursing home. For more details visit our in-home care page.


A senior relocation company or move managers can assist with the transition and move process. They offer a wide range of services, including helping to sort and organize possessions; packing and managing the move; and unpacking and personalized set up at new home.


According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, Professional Geriatric Care Managers (PGCMs) are health and human services specialists who help families care for older relatives, while encouraging as much independence as possible.

The PGCM may be trained in any of a number of fields related to long-term care, including, but not limited to, nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

The PGCM acts as a guide and advocate – identifying problems and offering solutions, from assessment of an aging parent’s needs to addressing the life change of a family affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s or other symptoms of dementia.

Senior Living Experts partners with some of the best geriatric care managers in the Chicago area. Often they will have us help with the search for housing or assisted living if that is what they determine with the family to be the next move. We also refer to geriatric care managers when a family needs more than help with housing and especially if they are trying to manage their care from out of town.

Get Started With Senior Living Experts' Free Consultation Service



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One of our Senior Living Advisors will consult with you via telephone or e-mail to discuss your needs.

We will perform a personalized care evaluation by asking questions to determine the level of care needed. For example, does your loved one need help with bathing, dressing or grooming? Help managing medications? Are you concerned with your loved one’s memory? Is your loved one depressed and no longer eating properly, paying bills, cleaning or socializing?

We will ask about the current living arrangements. Where does the senior currently live? Is your loved one alone or currently receiving care? Do you want the senior closer to family?

We will ask about finances. What is the budget range? What is the amount of the senior’s current monthly living expense?

Please visit the cost of assisted living page if you are unfamiliar with the current cost of care.

We will also determine what amenities and activities may be important to your loved one and use this information to make personalized matches for you.

We go beyond providing you a list of homes or facilities or a phone call. Our mission is to provide you with a level of service that we expect or may need for our own family.

Step 2

Based on the information we gather from you, we can make recommendations based on your needs.

step 3

Follow up.

If you need recommendations for additional services, we will connect you with professionals in the industry that we have personally worked with and know will deliver exceptional service.

How can this service be free? Senior Living Experts receives a referral fee from the senior living community you select, but our role is to always represent you and your family’s needs, not the community or care provider. Facilities that do not meet our standards, even though they are willing to pay a referral fee, would only result in damaging our outstanding reputation. Therefore, we do not work with all facilities. Senior Living Experts, Inc does not have ownership or is not affiliated with any senior care facility or senior care business.

Don’t go it alone, because you don’t have to!






How about Some Fun Facts about SENIOR LIVING EXPERTS!

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We are three LOCAL professionals that are thoroughly familiar with the senior living industry in Chicago and its suburbs. We have worked for some of the best senior communities and bring our experience and expertise to you as Senior Living Experts.

We offer sound advice and valuable tips. We will help you avoid the pitfalls. Turn to us with confidence.

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Kerry Quirin

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Lisa Sneddon

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Nancy Siegel



Frequently Asked Questions

How do we know it's time?
    Many families tell us they wished they would have moved their loved ones sooner.
After you choose
    Tips & advice (before & after the move) to make it as stress free as possible.

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