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Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility

Choosing a long-term care facility often feels like an overwhelming task. However, there are easy-to-follow steps when searching for a facility to meet the needs of an individual. The following resources provide a great deal of information to make the search for the right facility a little easier.


State of Illinois:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is responsible for making sure long-term care facilities, sheltered care facilities and assisted living and shared housing establishments comply with the provisions of the state Nursing Home Care Act and the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act. IDPH also conducts annual surveys to ensure facilities receiving Medicaid (state) or Medicare (federal) money for resident payment abide by applicable federal regulations. The IDPH Web site provides the following information:

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services oversees supportive living facilities. Supportive Living Facilities provide service-enriched housing options to individuals age 65 or older or individuals with disabilities, ages 22-64 years old. The aim of this program is preserving privacy and autonomy while emphasizing health and wellness for people who would otherwise need nursing home care.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provide the following information:

  • Nursing Homes section of CMS' Web site
  • Nursing Home Compare - provides overviews of individual facilities. One can search by facility name or location. Easy-to-read information on the types of deficiencies a specific facility has received in recent years is also provided.
  • Nursing Home Quality Initiative - provides consumer and provider information regarding the quality of care in nursing homes.
  • Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home - provides detailed information on choosing a nursing facility. (64 pages, PDF file - 665 KB)
  • Long-Term Care Planning Tool - helps people understand what long-term care services are available, how much one can expect to pay for long-term care, and what financing options are available. This tool will ask between 12 and 20 questions and will then provide the long-term care results one needs by comparing the answers to those of individuals with similar profiles.
  • Long-Term Care - explains what long-term care is and the types of long-term care, provides steps to choosing care and guidance on paying for care.

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