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Choices for Care Program

Since 1996, Illinois law (Public Act 89-21) requires that all person's age 60 and over who are seeking admission to a long-term care facility be informed of all care options prior to admission, regardless of the individual's income, assets or funding source. 

How it Works

Care Coordinators from the Care Coordination Units conduct the screenings primarily in hospitals immediately prior to patient discharge. Screens can also be completed in the community, a Supportive Living Program location or at a nursing facility. The screening process gives seniors and their families the opportunity to learn and ask questions about home and community-based services and long-term care services. This may include the Community Care Program, Supportive Living Program— as well as the option of choosing a nursing facility for continuing care.

Care Coordinators will conduct a functional needs assessment. This includes an initial screen form that helps to identify if there is a "reasonable basis to suspect an Intellectual/Developmental Disability or a Mental Illness." If either of these disabilities is suspected a more thorough assessment is conducted to ensure the individual receives the services they need in the setting they qualify for and choose. This will be explained in detail during the screening process.

In instances of short-term nursing facility placements for purposes of rehabilitation or respite, Care Coordinators are encouraged to conduct follow-up screenings in the nursing facility to facilitate a return to the community if, and when, possible.


For more information on the Choices for Care Program,