Whether you live there now or have dreams of moving there soon, Tennessee is an ideal state for retirement. Beautiful scenery and a temperate climate with not too much snow entices many seniors to the state, and low taxes and cost of living keep them there for the retirement years.
Tennessee offers an excellent environment for older adults and even better resources and solutions as they age and need more support. If you’ve considered senior living in the Tennessee area or are just beginning to explore your options, we have compiled the answers to some common questions.
What is senior living in Tennessee?
Senior living communities are nothing like they were 20 years ago. The industry continues to evolve and change to meet the needs of the older adults it serves. This means that you benefit by having multiple choices of types of communities that will give you or your loved one an ideal lifestyle, within budget.
In general, Tennessee offers senior living solutions that fall into four main categories: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Each community is unique, but you can narrow down your initial choices if you understand which type of care could meet your loved one’s current and future needs.
Independent living communities focus on offering luxury amenities and services to give residents a maintenance-free lifestyle. Residents enjoy concierge services, transportation services, and even housekeeping visits weekly in most top-tier communities. Further, communities try to maximize convenience and often offer a salon on-site as well as a fitness center and sometimes even a swimming pool.
Assisted living is one of the most popular senior living options — and for good reason. In addition to many of the conveniences and luxury amenities that independent living residents enjoy, assisted living residents also get to enjoy peace of mind thanks to trained caregivers who are available to provide personalized assistance around the clock. Caregivers can help with personal care tasks such as dressing or bathing, can offer assistance getting to an event down the hall, and are available during an emergency situation. Nurses provide oversight for personalized care plans and medication management as well.
Memory care communities often fall under a specialized assisted living license. These smaller communities are specially designed for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Caregivers are available around the clock and are trained in dementia care best practices in order to provide personalized interventions that change as residents’ needs do.
Finally, skilled nursing facilities, sometimes referred to as SNFs, offer the most clinical environment. Nurses and certified nursing assistants offer around-the-clock skilled care to those living with chronic pain or other complex medical conditions. It is common for residents to stay short-term in a skilled nursing facility after a hospitalization or surgery to take advantage of the in-patient therapy services and get stronger before returning home. However, some residents live in SNF settings long-term because they need clinical interventions regularly.
If you aren’t quite sure which type of senior living could be best for your loved one right now, consider speaking with their physician about it. Their doctor can give you insight about current and future needs, which can help you make a confident decision.
Are senior living and senior housing in Tennessee different?
As the senior living industry has evolved, so has the terminology. This can cause confusion as you begin researching senior living options for your loved one. The terms “senior living” and “senior housing” are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences.
Senior living communities provide maintenance-free living for seniors. These are the communities that offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing services.
Senior housing can refer to a variety of other options, such as apartments for older adults that are subsidized by the government. These communities have an age requirement for moving in and, although some might offer some dining or activity services, these apartments are generally in a typical apartment building where all residents happen to be over the age of 65.
What makes senior living in Tennessee stand out?
Senior living in Tennessee offers residents the services, resources, and support they need to remain safe, happy, and healthy. Older adults looking for senior living options can find them throughout the state of Tennessee, which means they can likely find a community in their desired location. Larger cities and suburban areas are likely to have more options, but senior living communities are found even in the more rural parts of the state.
How do you know Tennessee is right for you?
Tennessee is a beautiful state to retire in, featuring gorgeous views no matter what part of the state you are in. Further, residents of the Volunteer State get to enjoy all four seasons but without feet of snow and months of frigid temperatures in the winter. It’s the perfect climate for someone looking to enjoy everything all four seasons have to offer without the harsh winters.
As for senior living, you might know if your loved one could benefit from the support that assisted living provides if:
- They have fallen in the past three months
- They struggle with making healthy meals for themselves daily
- They take multiple medications throughout the day
- They have expressed feeling lonely or disconnected from others
- They are overwhelmed with tasks associated with homeownership
- They are looking to downsize their home without downsizing their lifestyle
If your loved one has a diagnosis of dementia, a memory care community is an excellent option designed to keep them safe and engaged.
What is the cost of senior living in Tennessee?
Each senior living community is unique, and the monthly fees from community to community will vary. On average, assisted living community fees in Tennessee are just over $4,039. This fee typically covers much more than the apartment though. The fee also covers three meals a day, all utilities, events and activities, and access to all of those luxury amenities. Many seniors and their loved ones are surprised at how affordable senior living really is, especially when they take a moment to write down their monthly bills while living at home and compare the costs.
Choosing a senior living community begins with gathering information so that you can narrow down your initial choices. Then, it’s time to further explore your choices by scheduling an on-site personalized tour and by communicating with community staff. Get your loved one involved so they are able to make their opinions known and feel empowered throughout the process. They can even request to have a meal or attend an event at a few senior living communities in your desired location to experience the senior living lifestyle for themselves while getting to know some of their potential new neighbors.
Learn more about how to pick the best community for your situation by downloading our free guide, “Finding a Safe & Comfortable Living Community.” You’ll learn more about the differences between types of communities as well as how to make the most of your next community tour. Good luck as you begin to explore your options throughout the great state of Tennessee!