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County helps new facility for low-income seniors
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/25/2008 12:11 AM

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DuPage County is chipping in to help create the county's second assisted living facility for Medicaid-eligible seniors.

The county is using $1.3 million in federal housing grant funds to help finance construction of the $19 million Alden Gardens facility in Bloomingdale. The county also is allowing the Illinois Housing Development Authority to issue $8.2 million worth of bonds through the county that Alden will eventually pay back, county officials said.

"If we could get another (facility) that would be great, but it all depends on having the funds for it," said county board member Yolanda Campuzano, chairman of the board's health and human services committee. "I would like to see something like this throughout the county."

Currently, the only other assisted living facility in DuPage that accepts Medicaid clients is in West Chicago. Franciscan Court is a 70-unit facility that sets aside some units for Medicaid patients, county officials said.

Alden Gardens is expected to begin construction in the fall, said Mary Keating, the county's administrator of community development. The facility will cater to seniors who need assistance with their daily activities, but not the round-the-clock care of a nursing home. The 86-unit complex will be built at 285 E. Army Trail Road near the intersection at Glen Ellyn Road.

Initially, 12 units will be set aside for Medicaid-paying seniors and 64 units will be income-restricted. Ten of the units will be available with no income restrictions, Keating said.

"These kinds of facilities allow seniors to remain close to their families," Campuzano said. "We're going to need more as the population grows older."