Chicago is a world-class city that’s home to a population of more than 2.7 million people. Greater Chicagoland, which includes the city’s many suburbs, is home to millions more, including seniors aged 60 and older who constitute about 17 percent of the population. Filled with all the amenities, attractions, and services that seniors look for in a hometown, Chicago is a city that features a senior-friendly environment.1. Plentiful and Diverse Housing Options
As one would expect in a large city, there is a wealth of housing options available in Chicago. While the cost of living in this major city is about 11 percent above the national average, it should be noted that housing costs range immensely from one neighborhood to the next. Chicago features many housing categories that seniors are seeking — single floor homes, new constructions and gated communities that require very little grounds or property maintenance.
In addition, Chicago is an ideal destination for seniors who are searching for assisted living options. As with other aspects of the city, senior living facilities feature a diverse range of options and amenities and suit a wide array of budgets.2. World-Class Medical Facilities
It’s no secret that Chicago is home to outstanding research hospitals and medical centers that are revered throughout the country and the world. Some of the city’s most renowned medical centers include Rush University Medical Center, University of Chicago Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Advocate Christ Medical Center. Many of these hospitals feature branch medical centers and clinics in Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs. In fact, some even have branches as far as Northwest Indiana.
These acclaimed facilities and other area hospitals and clinics offer care and treatment programs that specifically address the needs of geriatric patients and seniors. Seniors who require specialized medical care will be hard-pressed to find better facilities with more medical experts and specialists than there are in a major city like Chicago.3. Many Public Transportation Options
Chicago boasts an extensive public transportation system that extends into the suburbs. Trains, elevated trains, and buses are the main modes of public transport in the city. Downtown Chicago is home to Union Station where trains headed to other major cities around the country depart. Chicago is also home to O’Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the nation. The numerous train and bus stops, airports and taxis ensure that transportation is seldom a problem in this city. It should also be noted that seniors can expect to pay reduced fares for riding public transportation.4. Numerous Cultural Attractions
Chicago is world-famous for its many attractions and is home to renowned museums like The Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago that are popular with seniors. Seniors can take advantage of the city’s local libraries, many of which offer group trips to these and other attractions. Additional attractions that have proved popular with seniors include the Lyric Opera, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden and Orchestra Hall. Many of the city’s senior centers offer trips to these venues, particularly when they offer events or programs of special interest to seniors.5. Plenty of Parks and Public Spaces
Chicago's famous beachfront on Lake Michigan has attractions of its own like yacht clubs and, most notably, Navy Pier. Chicago also is home to well-known parks like Grant Park, Lincoln Park and Millennium Park which is a major tourist destination and forms part of Grant Park. Aside from their well-kept garden beds, fountains and strolling paths, these parks also offer entertainment attractions that are popular with seniors. Throughout the warm months, these parks host festivals like the Taste of Chicago (a must for foodies) and outdoor concerts like Blues Fest.6. Amenities
Chicago has no shortage of amenities and, with convenient access to public transportation, most are easy for seniors to reach. Downtown Chicago’s most famous shopping and dining areas are in (and just off) its Magnificent Mile. Water Tower Place is the city’s most celebrated shopping center, but throughout Chicagoland, there are numerous malls and stores of every type imaginable.
Not surprisingly, Chicago also features a wide array of restaurants and food shops that are cuisine-specific. And while you might expect to pay a fortune for a quality meal in a major city like Chicago, it must be said that even its moderately priced establishments offer renowned eats that are revered by locals.
Other amenities in Chicago include fitness centers with programming geared for seniors, continuing education facilities, golf courses and clubs, local women’s and men’s clubs, gardening clubs, senior centers, coffee shops, places of religious worship and so much more.
If you long for city life in a place that experiences a dazzling four-season climate, the Windy City is just right for you. From its stunning architecture to its senior-friendly attractions, amenities and public spaces, this city has much to offer seniors looking to relocate here.