Heritage Operations Group

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CONTACT: Wayne Smallwood


What is Supportive Living?
Supportive Living provides a highly satisfactory, sensible and cost-effective solution to the growing need for affordable, residential living and support service options for senior citizens and persons with disabilities who are in need. Administered through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Supportive Living program combines apartment-style living with personal care and other services that are covered by the state’s Medicaid program. Thanks to this unique state program, Supportive Living residents can live affordably and independently in an environment where personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality are emphasized.


As of February 2008, 91 Supportive Living communities were in operation throughout the state of Illinois offering over 7,000 apartments, and another 56 sites and 4,800 apartments were under development. In all, 71 Illinois counties will be served with supportive living, which makes the Illinois Supportive Living program one of the largest affordable assisted living models in the country.


Who is a typical Supportive Living resident?
Supportive Living residents are all unique individuals with various life stories and experiences. However, many residents share similar characteristics. Supportive Living residents are typically 65 or older, although at select supportive living communities, younger people with disabilities can qualify for residency.


Supportive Living residents vary in their needs for support services. Some may require help with meals, housekeeping or doing laundry. Others may need reminders to take their medications or appreciate help with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing and grooming. All Supportive Living residents must be able to participate in their care and do not have health needs that require skilled, 24-hour nursing care.


What do Supportive Living residents receive?
Supportive Living offers apartment homes—typically studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments—that residents can furnish and decorate according to their own personal taste. Supportive Living residents have access to services including three meals a day, housekeeping, social, educational and wellness activities, help with bathing and dressing, medication management and scheduled transportation.


Supportive Living residents also enjoy the convenience of various on-site amenities such as beauty and barber salons and community dining rooms. In addition, Supportive Living residents who qualify are offered a Medicaid-funded financial assistance program that makes the cost of these assisted living-type services more affordable to those with moderate to modest means.


How do residents benefit from Supportive Living?
Beyond these tangible aspects of offering shelter and services, Supportive Living offers residents an opportunity to act independently and preserve their autonomy as much as possible. In addition, Supportive Living residents benefit from a sense of community and feeling of camaraderie that living among peers and having the option to socialize on a regular basis offers. Supportive Living also offers residents and their loved ones the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a helping hand is at the ready should they need it.


How is Supportive Living different from Nursing Home care?
Supportive Living is designed for those people who don't need the 24-hour skilled nursing care delivered in nursing homes. Individuals residing in a Supportive Living community receive the assistance they need in an environment that strongly promotes personal control and dignity. Supportive Living offers each person an apartment, rather than a private or semi-private room typically found in nursing homes. Supportive Living provides a much more residential and independent lifestyle.


How is Supportive Living different from Assisted Living?
Supportive Living and assisted living offer similar services, however, assisted living communities tend to be more costly, and they do not accept payment from Medicaid. Furthermore, when assisted living residents are no longer able to pay privately, they must leave. On the other hand, Supportive Living is designed to offer residents who qualify the opportunity to access Medicaid benefits and continue living at the community without worrying about payment.


How does Supportive Living save tax payers money while improving lives?
By offering residential care and services outside of the nursing home arena, Supportive Living helps seniors and the state’s Medicaid budget to benefit by offering seniors with fewer healthcare needs a more residential setting that is less expensive than nursing home care and more conducive to the residents’ lifestyle and needs.


Who can qualify for Supportive Living?
The Supportive Living Illinois program is open to any resident who: 

  • undergoes preadmission screening.
  • is without a primary or secondary diagnosis of developmental disability or serious and persistent mental illness. 
  • has had a tuberculosis test that indicates the absence of active tuberculosis. 
  • is not participating in any other federal home and community-based services waiver program.

Additional financial criteria may be applicable for those seeking residency at specific Supportive Living communities and for those seeking support through the Supportive Living financial assistance program.


Where can I find a Supportive Living community?
Illinois’ Supportive Living program is one of the largest affordable assisted living models in the country. Currently Illinois’ Supportive Living program serves as a model for other states that are looking to bring affordable assisted living to their constituents. To find a supportive living community near you, please visit or


What is the process for becoming a Supportive Living resident?
Parties who are interested in Supportive Living residency can contact the Supportive Living communities nearest them, visit with the staff and tour the community and apartment homes. They are invited to review the services and discuss individual needs with a residency counselor who can provide the necessary application forms and further outline the residency process.


For more information about Supportive Living Illinois please visit or

Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.


Heritage Operations Group, is a separate and distinct legal entity from any and all other entities named or listed on this website.  Any information contained in this website does not constitute evidence of a relationship between Heritage Operations Group, or any other named or listed entity.

Heritage Operations Group •  115 W. Jefferson St. Suite 401  •  P.O. Box 3188   Bloomington, IL   61702-3188
PH. 800-397-1313  •  FAX: 309-829-5477

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