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SUpportive Living - A Closer Look

People often get confused about the differences between Supportive Living and Assisted Living. When looking for care options for a loved one, knowing the difference between the two is vitally important. 

Supportive Living provides qualified senior citizens and disabled individuals with assistance they need in an environment that strongly promotes personal control and individuality. They live in a community among peers where daily opportunities for socialization, education, and exercise are encouraged.

What's the Difference Between Supportive Living & Assisted Living?

Supportive Living gives residents access to all the services and benefits of Assisted Living, along with financial assistance should it be necessary. 

  • Assisted Living does not accept payments from Medicaid
  • Supportive Living is the Medicaid-supported model of Assisted Living. SL offers residents, who qualify, the opportunity to pay through a combination of their own income and Medicaid. With personal care and other services covered by a Medicaid waiver, Supportive Living residents only need to pay for their meals and apartment-style room, allowing them to live affordable and independently.

Supportive Living            

  • Three meals a day
  • Housekeeping
  • Individual apartments
  • Social, educational, and wellness activities
  • Onsite Amenities
  •  Medication management
  • Assistance with bathing and dressing
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Financial Assistance through Medicaid or other financial assistance programs.

Assisted Living                             

  • Three meals a day
  •  Housekeeping
  •  Individual apartments
  • Social, educational, and wellness activities
  •  Onsite Amenities
  •  Medication management
  •  Assistance with bathing and dressing
  •  Scheduled transportation


The Illinois Supportive Living Program (SLP) has been called the best affordable assisted living program in the country. It provides quality care, in the least restrictive setting, to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities across Illinois. SLP communities keep people out of nursing homes and save the state millions of dollars annually.

    Facts about Supportive Living

  • Supportive Living communities provide much needed services to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities who may be unable to afford the more expensive care options.
  • Low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, who are still able to live independently with some support, DEPEND on Illinois’ SLP

  • The Illinois SLP is a national model for affordable senior housing. Residents and families receive high-quality living standards, an independent lifestyle and numerous support services -- regardless of their income or ability to pay

Supportive Living by the Numbers

  • 160 Supportive Living Program communities in Illinois 

  • 13,143 apartments located in  72 Illinois counties

  •  SLP providers are currently paid 54.3% of nursing home rates

  •  Illinois SLP saves millions for the state while still  providing outstanding, quality care to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities

While the Supportive Living Program is specific to Illinois, many states have similar programs with different names.  If you’re looking for supportive living in a particular part of the state, you can use the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ search tool to find communities.

Affordable Assisted Living Coalition
P.O. Box 1245
Springfield, IL  62705

AALC is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.


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