If your parents retire in Illinois, they’ll be better off than retirees in Hawaii (in spite of getting the shorter end of the climate stick). However, they will be worse off than their counterparts in Oklahoma, where senior care is cheap and abundant, and the overall cost of living is among the lowest in the US. This and more, according to a recent study on senior living quality across the fifty states.

It’s a statistic that doesn’t surprise Cambridge Realty Capital Companies Chairman Jeffrey Davis. “Illinois certainly has its share of challenges,” he stated, “particularly when it comes to affordable housing and acquiring adequate property for new housing in urban areas like Chicago, where demand is high and real estate is scarce.”

The study compared all fifty states, taking into account 11 different variables, including:

* The cost of living index of each individual state

* The availability and accessibility of senior healthcare programs

* The availability of support for people caring for a senior family member

* The average cost of senior care

The study then provided a ranking between 1 and 50 for each of three categories: overall cost of living, the cost of senior living and the level of support available. From those scores, each state received its overall numeric ranking.

Oklahoma took the number one spot on the list. That’s not to say that Oklahoma is a senior living utopia, though. It ranked third in the nation for cost of senior care, fifth for overall cost of living and 24th place for elderly support.

The state that received the number one ranking for cost of senior care was the state of Alabama, despite it taking 12th place overall when combining all three categories, which included a 9th place ranking for cost of living and a dismal 46th place for senior support.

So how did Illinois do? It scored better than its 33rd place overall ranking in cost of senior care, which landed at 24 (making it less costly than more than half of the states in the US), and senior support, which came in at 29. However, its overall ranking got dragged down somewhat by its cost of living ranking which was 35 (which may reflect the higher cost of living associated with mega-cities like Chicago).

All in all, Illinois isn’t a bad place to retire. It is home to some of the most innovative senior living facilities and villages in the US. It is also home to the Community Care Program, an initiative to help seniors who might otherwise end up in a nursing home to stay in their homes and remain independent for as long as possible.

In spite of its challenges, Davis believes that Illinois has a great deal to offer seniors who choose to retire there or who receive care in a nursing or rehab facility. It offers rich cultural experiences, ample recreational opportunities, beautiful seasons and a wide variety of ways to enjoy the outdoors.

For its own part, Cambridge continually seeks out quality partnerships in the senior living industry. It is involved in dozens of senior living projects around the state and is grateful for the opportunities it has had over the years to work at maintaining high-quality senior living experiences.

Learn more about the study here.

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