Selfhelp Home

908 W Argyle St Chicago, Illinois, 60640

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Type of Senior Living

  • Home Health and Hospice
  • Independent Living
  • Nursing Home
  • Respite / Short-Term Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care
  • At-Home Care


The Selfhelp Home is an active and engaging not-for-profit retirement community designed to accommodate the needs of older Jewish adults throughout the Chicago area. At Selfhelp, you’ll receive the care you need from staff members who are committed to ensuring your comfort. You will also find an inviting atmosphere, a vibrant lifestyle and friendly people with similar likes and interests.

The Selfhelp Home has a history unlike any other senior living community in Chicago. It was founded in 1938, in the shadow of the Holocaust, as a pure volunteer mutual aid society where refugees and survivors could find community and rebuild their lives.  It became a priority of the founders to provide a caring and comfortable home for them to live out their years with compassion, dignity and a high quality of life.

Today, it stands as a living, breathing testament to the human spirit and the name Selfhelp embodies the character, determination and fortitude of the founding men and women who organized a volunteer network of European-Americans to care for the refugees fleeing Nazism and, later, the rare survivors.

It was Jewish people helping Jewish people.

Selfhelp officially became a Home in 1951 when it purchased the old Drexel Mansion in Hyde Park, housing 19 residents. As the need surpassed space, Selfhelp purchased and rebuilt the building at 908 W. Argyle and, subsequently expanding and purchasing the 920 Arygle building next door several years later.

Today, The Selfhelp Home  thrives as a boutique Jewish community where older adults experience the highest quality of life possible, founded on the principles of compassion and dignity. Selfhelp is among the most respected Jewish elder communities and nursing homes in the United States.  The Selfhelp Home maintains the highest rating of 5 stars by Medicare and was awarded Best Nursing Homes by U.S. News and World Report in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.


The history and legacy of The Selfhelp Home is beautifully captured in the film Refuge by Ethan Bensinger. The film  reaches back more than 75 years to tell the stories of the founding of the Selfhelp Home and the people that live here. This five-time international award-winning film captures the stories of this last generation of survivors, through revealing interviews with the Home’s residents and founders and with expert commentary from noted historians. Refuge examines the range of experiences before, during and after World War II, and how Chicago’s newly arrived German Jews came together as a community to create a singular place that those fleeing Nazi persecution could call home.

About The Filmmaker- Ethan Bensinger, Director

In 2007, Ethan created an archive of personal interviews for The Selfhelp Home that included 30 residents who had been victims of Nazi persecution. Today, this archive can be found at Selfhelp, the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, and online, courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York.

That project inspired Ethan to film a one-hour documentary that highlights the diverse experiences of six Selfhelp residents and three of the home’s founders, before, during, and after WWII.

Ethan’s parents and grandparents were forced to flee the Nazi regime in the 1930s for a new life in Palestine. Ethan was born after the State of Israel was founded and then moved with his family to America in 1955. His family’s experience led Ethan to his chosen profession as an immigration lawyer, and for 25 years, he served as the managing director of the Chicago office of a global immigration law firm. Since his retirement from law, Ethan has been involved in volunteer and philanthropic endeavors. With REFUGE, Ethan has turned his love of historical narratives into a new career in filmmaking.

A Personalized Therapy Program To Meet Your Needs

During a hospital stay, ask for rehab at The Selfhelp Home. You’ll receive a customized, comprehensive therapy program that addresses your specific needs for recovery. Therapy is delivered by our expert team of dedicated medical professionals who truly care about helping you reach your goals.

The Selfhelp Home Health & Rehabilitation Center offers a boutique rehabilitation experience with the highest quality of care. Here, clients can recover and regain strength and mobility after surgery or illness.

Every Resident is an Individual with Unique Needs and Preferences

We encourage retirement living through an active lifestyle and a broad range of physical, intellectual and cultural activities to enhance your quality of life.

Residents may choose from a variety of floor plans for studio and one-bedroom apartments with an extensive range of amenities. Our modern, spacious apartments have individually controlled heat and air conditioning. If you need a little more help down the line, we understand. There is no need to move to a different part of our building. Our Assisted Living services come to you in your apartment.

The Selfhelp Home - Independent Living - Chicago Jewish Senior Living Apartments

We’ve taken care of all the necessities including housekeeping, meals and activities all in one monthly rental fee:

•    Selfhelp maintains a kosher kitchen but is not under supervision.
•    Daily exercise classes
•    Daily Activities
•    Live weekly musical concerts
•    Weekly housekeeping
•    Satellite television

•    Free WiFi in every apartment and throughout the building
•    Transportation
•    Emergency call system
•    Parking for residents and guests
•    On-site staff 24/7/365

At Selfhelp, you can continue to lead an active lifestyle in your one-bedroom or studio apartment and receive just the right amount of care you need, when you need it. We know that each resident is an individual with a unique set of needs and preferences. Our assisted-living services come to you in your apartment, so there is no need to move to a separate unit. Our independent and assisted-living communities are integrated, allowing residents to age in place, without a stressful move.

The Selfhelp Home - Assisted Living - Active Senior Care and Assisted Living Chicago

Our Assisted-Living Program is run by an experienced Nurse Manager and a team of personal aides who provide you the care you need in your own apartment. Residents are also welcome to visit the Nurse in our Wellness Center. We only employ personal aides who are flexible, trained, kind and experienced and who encourage residents to remain active and involved in our community. We take an active approach to addressing resident healthcare needs by maintaining ongoing communication with each resident’s physician. This commitment to our residents has earned us a solid reputation for quality care throughout the Chicagoland area.



Room Amenities
Multiple Floor Plans
Private Rooms
Meals & Dining
Professional Chef
Dietary Accommodations
Property Amenities
  • On-Site Medical Staff
  • Housekeeping
  • Theater Room
  • Laundry Service
  • 24-Hour Staff
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Transportation Services
  • Medication Management
  • Walking Paths
  • Fitness Center
  • Gathering / Activity Spaces
Social Activities



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