Learn About Assisted Living Regulations in Illinois
Assisted Living is confusing, to say the least. There’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ set of rules, regulations and definitions for every state. Quite the contrary, as each state has it’s own governing authority for assisted living, and each state defines assisted living differently – either slightly, or quite differently.
Some states don’t even officially recognize the term ‘assisted living.’
Fortunately, for our seniors, families and caregivers in Illinois, you have some very specific places you can go to learn about the state’s rules, and regulations concerning assisted living.
First, it’s important to know who, or what agency is in charge of regulating assisted living. For Illinois, this is the Department of Public Health, and their Office of Health Care Regulation.
A visit to the Department’s site offers some helpful information. You’ll see direct contacts, and the address/location of the office.
There are also a number of excellent links to additional pages and sections. If you go down to the Assisted Living/Shared Housing Licensed Establishments page, there are two sections: Forms & Directory.
The ‘Forms’ section has a specific section for forms relevant to assisted living in Illinois:
These are all in .pdf format and can be saved, and printed.
The Directory section is useful too, as it provides a statewide directory of assisted living facilities in Illinois.
It looks like this:
The database is big, and the search tool is complex, but if you take a moment to learn it’s features, it’s worthwhile for your research.
You can filter by facility name, city, county, zip code, and license number.
You can also export the information easily into a number of formats, including Excel, PDF, XLS and more.
This database also indicates the number of units, or capacity of the facility, as well as whether there are Alzheimer’s units, or Adult Day Care units.
Where Can I View, and Get A Copy of Assisted Living Regulations in Illinois?
If you visit the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules / Administrative Code section, there are dozens of links, and numerous sections with Codes and rules.
- General Provisions
- Resident Care and Services
- Resident Rights
- Resident and Establishment Records
- Food Service
- Physical Plant and Environmental Requirements
There is also a document for definitions, which is helpful, since, as we mentioned, these definitions can vary from state-to-state.
The definitions section for Assisted Living is interesting, in that, they define what assisted living ‘is’ in Illinois, and also, what it is ‘not’ or what it does not mean.
I thought this was a unique way to do it, something I haven’t seen before.
Additionally, there is a section of the Joint Committee’s site for Administrative Codes for Supportive Living:
I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone involved with assisted living in Illinois to be familiar with the state’s rules and regulations. This means those who are receiving care (if they are cognitively able to do so), their families, caregivers, employees and staff of assisted living homes, the owners and administrators, and even for those folks who might be considering opening their own assisted living home.
Too often, ignorance of the rules and regulations, and not knowing where to turn if there is an issue or concern, can lead to a number of unfavorable outcomes. Facilities can be cited and disciplined, or worse, the health and safety of residents can be compromised.
I’m not suggesting that families and residents memorize the state’s code and rules, but I am suggesting that you should know where to find this information for reference (you should now, after this article).
Should an issue come up, or a concern, we’ve done another blog post on how to file a complaint against a long-term care facility in Illinois.