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Independent Living

What Seniors in Illinois Need to Know About Independent Living

Deciding where you want to live is a necessary part of planning for life after retirement. Many older adults in Illinois are choosing to move into senior living communities for the socially connected, maintenance-free lifestyle, but the timing of this decision varies from person to person.

Illinois is a great place to choose this type of lifestyle. About 16% of the state’s residents are over the age of 65, and that number grew 30% between 2010 and 2020. They are drawn here by family connections, a reasonable cost of living, world-class dining and entertainment options, and exceptional healthcare systems. 

As demand for independent living continues to grow across the U.S., communities have become more sophisticated to appeal to the tastes of today’s seniors. Here’s what seniors in Illinois should know as they explore independent living options. 

What Is Independent Living and Who Is It For?

Independent living is an ideal senior living option for older adults who are still able to care for themselves, but who want to enjoy the benefits of community life. Many people find it easier to stay active and social after they move into a senior living community. Some communities also provide higher levels of on-site care in the event your health needs change over time.

For instance, Oak Trace is a Life Care community in Downers Grove, Illinois (a thriving Chicago suburb). A Life Care community is a type of continuing care retirement community (CCRC) that offers a variety of on-site care options, in addition to providing a higher level of services and amenities.  

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in Illinois?

Illinois isn’t the most tax friendly or affordable state, due to its relatively high sales tax rate. However, it does offer the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program that allows those 65 or older to defer all or some of their real estate taxes and special assessments up to $5,000. 

That said, the cost of independent living communities here will vary depending on the type of residence you choose and the layout. Residents that move into a Life Care community can expect to pay an upfront entrance fee, which is often at least partially refundable, in addition to a recurring monthly fee. In return, Life Care residents receive access to a continuum of care at below market average rates, as well as a wide range of services and amenities.

Considerations for Evaluating Independent Living Options in Illinois

Deciding whether independent living is right for you or a loved one is only the first step in your search for a new home. Next you’ll need to narrow down your senior living options based on your wants and needs. Some key considerations for evaluating independent living options include the community location, services and amenities offered, and access to on-site care.

Community Location

Beyond deciding the type of residence you want to move to, you also need to think about the actual city you want to live in here. Do you want to thrive near a big city like Chicago or Springfield with access to big city amenities? Or do you seek a slower pace and small town feel? 

Older adults that choose independent living in the Chicago suburbs often do so because they either have family and friends close by or they simply enjoy the variety of entertainment options that living near Chicago provides. 

Services & Amenities Offered

Older adults who choose to move into independent living do so because they want to get the most out of life. The services and amenities a senior living community offers can greatly impact the level of happiness and satisfaction that you get from your community. Restaurant-style dining, group activities and plenty of options to stay active both inside and outdoors are just some of the reasons why seniors choose to call Oak Trace home.

Access To On-Site Care

Another key differentiator between independent living options is the level of care they provide. As a Life Care community, Oak Trace offers a continuum of care that includes skilled nursing, rehabilitation, assisted living and memory care in the event your health needs change. It’s all provided within just a few steps of your door. 

Explore Independent Living at Oak Trace in Downers Grove

Independent living at Oak Trace combines the freedom of aging in place with the unique wellness benefits of community living, which can improve your overall quality of life. Meanwhile, the continuum of care we provide sets us apart from other senior living options in Illinois.

Whether you’re just starting to prepare for life after retirement or you’re in the final stages of determining where you would like to live next, we encourage you to contact us or complete the form below to learn more about the benefits of independent living at Oak Trace.

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