Illinois: Overview of Assisted Living Licensing

What types of facilities provide assisted living services for seniors in Illinois?

Chicago, ILIn the state of Illinois, facilities that specifically provide housing and assisted living services, such as bathing, grooming or supervision, for the elderly are supportive living facilities, assisted living establishments and shared housing establishments.

  • A Supportive Living Facility is a residential setting that is designed to maximize residents’ dignity and independence along with providing or coordinating personal care services, 24-hour supervision and assistance and health-related services as per Illinois Administrative Code (IAC) Title 89 Chapter 1 Subchapter d Section 146.200. These facilities typically serve low-income older adults, ages 65 and older.
  • An Assisted Living Establishment is a building, home or residence which provides accommodations for at least three unrelated adults who are 55 years or older and also offers services which include personal, supportive and intermittent health-related services. The physical environment is considered a homelike setting with a kitchenette and private bathroom as outlined in IAC Title 77 Chapter I Subchapter c Section 295.200.
  • A Shared Housing Establishment is a free-standing residence for 16 or fewer adults, at least 80 percent of whom are 55 years or older and are unrelated to the owners. Services provided include having 24-hour personal, supportive and intermittent health-related services available as outlined in Title 77 Chapter I Subchapter c Section 295.200.
  • A Sheltered Care Facility is a facility which provides personal care and intermittent nursing services; however, the facility cannot use in its community name skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation center as per Title 77 Chapter I Subchapter c Section 330.110.

Who licenses Supportive Living Facilities, Assisted Living or Shared Housing Establishments and Sheltered Care facilities in Illinois?

Supportive living facilities are overseen by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Certified providers are issued a certificate which includes the number of apartments certified and the maximum number of residents served.

Facilities are asked to post their certificate for display, but there is not a regulation requiring its posting.

Assisted living establishments and shared housing establishments are licensed by the Department of Public Health’s Health Facilities and Programs.

  • A Regular License is issued 120 days after an application has been determined to meet all the requirements of the applicable laws.
  • A Probationary License may also be issued after receiving the completed application for a regular license and are issued in circumstances which include the facility not being in operation at the time of application submittal or the facility not being previously licensed as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.800.
  • A Floating License is an assisted living or shared housing establishment license that applies to individual living units within a facility; however, the facility is not allowed to market the facility as an assisted living establishment unless a regular license is obtained as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.1110.

Facilities are required to post the license in public view as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.600 (h) and Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.1020 (c).

Sheltered care facilities are also licensed by the Department of Public Health’s Health Facilities and Programs.

  • A Regular License is issued 120 days after an application has been determined to meet all the requirements of the applicable laws.
  • A Probationary License may also be issued after receiving the completed application for a regular license and are issued in circumstances where the person responsible for operating the facility demonstrates a record of compliance and financial capacity as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.140.

Facilities are required to conspicuously post or display their current license as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.230.

What is required to obtain a Supportive Living Facility, Assisted Living or Shared Housing Establishments license or Sheltered Care?

To become a certified supportive living program provider, licensees provide submit an application which includes a list of the direct and indirect owners, certified that the building complies with all applicable codes, operating policies and other information as outlined in Title 89 Chapter 1 Subchapter d Section 146.215.

To receive a license for an assisted living or shared housing establishments, applicants are required to provide documentation which includes the name(s) of owners, demonstration of financial viability, name of manger and proof of compliance with applicable State and local residential standards as per  Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.500.

Sheltered Care facility applicants are required to submit an application and the financial condition of the applicant, zoning approval and experience of the employees as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.120.

How do I know a Supportive Living Facility, Assisted Living or Shared Housing Establishments or Sheltered Care facility is licensed?

The Supportive Living Program provides a list online of operational supportive living facilities.

The Division of Health Care Facilities and Programs provides an online list of licensed assisted living or shared housing establishments, along with licensed sheltered care facilities.

How frequently are Supportive Living Facilities, Assisted Living or Shared Housing Establishments or Sheltered Care Facilities inspected?

At least annually, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services conducts an on-site review of a supportive living facility to determine if the facility is in compliance, as per Title 89 Chapter 1 Subchapter d Section 146.215. Facilities are not required to post the inspection.

Assisted living or shared housing establishments are inspected annually as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.1070. Facilities are required to make the more recent survey available upon request as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.1020 (d).

Sheltered care facilities are inspected annually as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.200. The facility must make available upon request every inspection report issued by the department over the last five years as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.230.

Where can I find the inspection reports of Supportive Living Facilities, Assisted Living or Shared Living Establishments and Sheltered Care Facilities?

The survey results of supportive living facilities are not available online and must be requested from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services as a Freedom of Information Act request.

The survey results of assisted living or shared living establishments are not available online and must be requested from the Department of Public Health as a Freedom of Information Act request.

Survey results of sheltered care facilities are also not available online and must be requested from the Department of Public Health as a Freedom of Information Act request.

How long are Supportive Living Facilities, Assisted Living or Shared Living Establishments and Sheltered Care Facilities required to retain their copy of the inspection reports?

Supportive Living Facilities are not required to keep a copy of the inspection reports. Assisted living or shared living establishments are not required to keep inspection reports apart from the most recent inspection.

Sheltered care facilities are required to retain a copy of every inspection report and order pertaining to the facility for five years as per Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 330.230.

How can I file a complaint against a Supportive Living Facility, Assisted Living or Shared Living Establishment or Sheltered Care Facility, and what is the complaint process?

For supportive living facilities, complaints may be submitted to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. As per Title 89 Chapter 1 Subchapter d Section 146.275 the department investigates all complaints within seven days after receiving the complaint.

Complaints against an assisted living or shared housing establishment or sheltered care facility may be submitted to the Healthcare Facilities and Program office via a toll-free number (1-800-252-4343) and there is also a form that may be filled out and submitted.

When a complaint alleging abuse or neglect is submitted, Healthcare Facilities and Program will conduct an on-site investigation within seven days; however, if the complaint indicates that a resident’s life or safety is in immediate danger, they will conduct a visit within 24 hours. Complaints which do not require an on-site review may be addressed through a record review or telephone interview. Title 77 Chapter 1 Subchapter c Section 295.1090 outlines the complaint process.

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