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On average, assisted living facilities across the United States cost around $3,000 a month or $36,000 a year. In the Chicago area, costs range from $2,900 to $5,000 a month, depending on the level of care required, location and size of the apartment. The average monthly private pay fee in this area is currently $4507.00. The fees are higher when special services and dementia care is added.

In Chicago, most assisted living homes are private pay meaning the resident or the resident family covers the cost of living there with their personal assets. Some residents pay with the help of long-term care insurance if they had the foresight to purchase it before they needed it. Check with your loved one’s insurance provider to see if it is covered.

Assisted living communities do not take Medicare or Medicaid (with the exception of supportive living facilities which will work with Medicaid). While assisted living is expensive, it is usually less expensive than a nursing home, which can average around $70,000 a year for a semi-private room (or $191 daily).

Cost Calculator

When considering the cost of senior living, you should truly compare what it costs to stay at home vs. the monthly fee at a senior community. Sticker shock is common and can sometimes discourage you from even exploring assisted living. Often times families are just comparing what they might be paying monthly on the house instead of all the other small monthly costs that living at home can occur. Here are some items to consider; costs for these items generally are included in the monthly fee at the assisted living community:


Property taxes

Association or condo fee

Groceries/take out/dining out

Recreational and social activities




Maintenance (furnace, washer/dryer repair, etc…)

Transportation (car, maintenance & gas)

24 Security system & supervision

Basic cable TV

 Cleaning supplies


Lawn care/snow removal

Garbage removal

Licensed nurse available for health care needs

Assistance with ADL’s

 Club/exercise classes

If you decide to stay home and need care, you need to consider the additional cost of bringing in that care. A cost for a live-in caregiver can range from $150 to $230 a day or $4,500 – $6,900 a month. Increased socialization, freedom from the demands of maintaining a home, and increased opportunities for both mental and physical activity can vastly improve quality of life. And peace of mind is priceless.

TIP: Don’t decide on price alone. Many assisted living properties offer complicated pricing schedules. Our expert advice can help save you some money in the long run since we can go over possible costs that may come up. A few hundred dollars a month can sometimes also be the difference between basic care and quality care.

Here is a free cost of living comparison worksheet to calculate the cost of staying home vs. senior living that you can print out and use. COST OF LIVING COMPARISON WORKSHEET