Tennessee is a tax-friendly state since it doesn’t impose any income tax and has a cost of living that is 9.6% lower than the national average. Additionally, Tennessee offers easy access to affordable healthcare facilities. Scenic towns like Winchester, Loudon, and Crossville are popular among senior citizens with a fairly large percentage of older adults.

Directory of Assisted Living Facilities in Tennessee

There are many aspects to consider when selecting an assisted living facility, including the amenities available, the care that is offered, and financial assistance. Our directory on assisted living facilities in Tennessee combines many of these features into one database that will help you make the right choice for yourself or a loved one.

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Paying For Assisted Living in Tennessee

The Cost of Assisted Living in Tennessee

The monthly median cost of an assisted living facility is $3,920, which is about the same as the national average of $4,000. According to Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the monthly cost of assisted living in Tennessee is the highest amongst all of its neighboring states except Virginia.

 

The average monthly cost of assisted living in Tennessee ranges from $3,018 to $4,500, varying across the state. The average monthly cost in the Nashville area is the highest in the state, while Chattanooga averages the cheapest.

 

The average monthly cost of nursing home care and memory care is significantly higher than assisted living. While not providing as much care as assisted living, independent living in Tennessee is the cheapest senior living option followed by homemaker services.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Tennessee

CHOICES Waiver

The Medicaid program in Tennessee is called TennCare, which is jointly funded by the state and federal health care program for low-income seniors. TennCare offers Home Based Community Services for assisted living through the TennCare CHOICES in Long-Term Service and Support program. CHOICES is not an entitlement program for individuals who apply for assisted living support. The waiting list is prioritized based on the intensity of care needed.

CHOICES provides monthly financial support of up to $1,100 for some services eligible residents receive at an assisted living facility. These include personal care services like assistance with activities of daily living, medical oversight, transportation assistance, and homemaker services like meals and laundry. However, TennCare members are expected to pay for room and board themselves.

Who Is Eligible

Applicants eligible for TennCare CHOICES program for an assisted living must be 65 years or older who are at the risk of moving to a nursing home if they don’t receive proper care. The monthly income limit of applicants is $2,250, and the asset limit is $2,000.

How To Apply

Applicants must first apply for TennCare to receive benefits of the CHOICES program by contacting local Area Agency on Aging and Disability at 1-866-836-6678 or visiting the TennCare website.

More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

Some additional ways to finance assisted living costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans can take advantage of several different pension programs to help cover the cost of assisted living. For more information, see the article on benefits.va.gov.
  • Life Insurance Policies: Even if a spouse or loved one hasn’t died, certain types of life insurance policies can be used to pay for assisted living. More information is available at longtermcare.acl.gov
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays for long-term care when it becomes necessary, including the cost of assisted living. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of this financing method, visit longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow seniors to access the equity from a home that they own, and these funds can be used to pay for assisted living. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a federally insured reverse mortgage program.

Free Assisted Living Resources in Tennessee

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

As a government supported program for the elderly, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is responsible to protect the rights of all long-term care residents including residents of assisted living facilities. The ombudsman addresses and resolves issues involving finances, services at the facility, medications, and staff communication.

Since the District Ombudsman works with many state and federal agencies that serve the elderly, it is able to resolve concerns that include:

  • Quality of care
  • Financial information
  • Resident rights
  • Admissions, transfer, and discharge
  • Choosing the right long-term care facility

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman appoints volunteers to visit long-term care facilities and trains them to:

  • Assess the facility’s condition and quality of care
  • Provide information about resident rights
  • Communicate with the residents and the staff
  • Handle simple complaints

The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman can be reached at:

Phone: (615) 741-2056
Toll-Free: (877) 236-0013
Website: tn.gov/aging/our-programs/long-term-care-ombudsman

Area Agencies on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) offers different programs to assist the elderly when they seek long-term care. Area agencies help seniors assess their physical and financial status and find suitable service providers. The agencies advocate the rights of the elderly to live with dignity in long-term care facilities.

Area Agency On Aging Address Phone Number
Southeast Tennessee Area Agency

(Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, Mcminn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties)

1000 Riverfront Pkwy, Chattanooga,

TN 37402

(423) 266-5781
Upper Cumberland Development District Area Agency 1225 South Willow Avenue, Cookeville,

TN 38506

(931) 432-4111
Southwest Tennessee Area Agency

(Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Madison, and Mcnairy counties)

102 E. College St. Jackson,

TN 38301

(731) 668-6967
First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging

(Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties)

3211 North Roan St. Johnson City,

TN 37601

(423) 722-5102
East Tennesse Area Agency on Aging

(Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties)

9111 Cross Park Drive, Suite D100 Knoxville,

TN 37923

(865) 691-2551
Northwest Tennesse Area Agency on Aging

(Benton, Caroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley counties)

124 Weldon Drive Martin,

TN 38237

(731) 587-4213
Aging Commission of Mid-South

(Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties)

2670 Union Avenue Extended, Suite 1000 Memphis,

TN 38112

(901) 324-6333
South Central Tennessee Area Agency

(Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne counties)

101 Sam Watkins Blvd. Mt. Pleasant,

TN 38474

(931) 379-2940
GNRC Area Agency on Aging

(Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson counties)

501 Union Street, 6th Floor Nashville,

TN 37219

(615) 862-8828
Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability Andrew Jackson Building, 500 Deaderick Street Nashville,

TN 37243

(615) 313-4700

Veterans Affairs

The Tennessee Department of Veteran Affairs plans and executes programs designed to benefit veterans and their families. The department’s resources and services aim to provide a high quality of life, financial assistance, and advocacy for long-term care residents.

Vet Office Address Phone Number
Chattanooga Vet Center 951 Eastgate Loop Road Bldg. 5700 – Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37411
(423) 855-6570

(423) 855-6570

Johnson City Vet Center 2203 McKinley Road, Suite 254
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 928-8387

(423) 928-8387

Knoxville Vet Center 1645 Downtown West Blvd #28,

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865) 633-0000
Memphis Vet Center 1407 Union Ave., Suite 410
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 522-3950

(901) 522-3950

Nashville Vet Center 1420 Donelson Pike Suite A-5
Nashville, TN 37217
(615) 366-1220

Social Security Offices

Senior citizens who are in long-term care can access social security benefits. Social security offices provide information regarding benefits and eligibility and assist the elderly to solve any issues related to social security.

Social Security Office Address Phone Number
Athens Social Security Offices 921 Congress Pkwy N, Athens,

Tennessee 37303

1-866-964-7431

1-423-745-4883

Chattanooga Social Security Offices 1290 Premier Dr., Suite 140, Chattanooga,

Tennessee 37421

1-866-964-0029

1-423-954-9364

Clarksville Social Security Offices 119 Center Pointe Dr, Clarksville,

Tennessee 37040

1-877-531-4695

1-800-325-0778

Cleveland Social Security Offices 529 Inman St W, Cleveland,

Tennessee 37311

1-855-207-4867

1-423-479-5501

Columbia Social Security Offices 1885 Shady Brook St, Columbia,

Tennessee 38401

1-877-876-3174

1-800-325-0778

Cookeville Social Security Offices 1145 Perimeter Park Dr., Cookeville,

Tennessee 38501

1-888-717-1528

1-800-325-0778

Dyersburg Social Security Offices 1070 Vendall Rd, Dyersburg,

Tennessee 38024

1-877-480-5002

1-800-325-0778

Gallatin Social Security Offices 637 Commons Drive, Gallatin,

Tennessee 37066

1-866-964-7392

1-800-325-0778

Greeneville Social Security Offices 1618 Old Tusculum Road, Greeneville,

Tennessee 37745

1-877-405-0416

1-800-325-0778

Jacksboro Social Security Offices 140 Sharp Perkins Rd, Jacksboro,

Tennessee 37757

1-866-964-7324

1-423-566-6062

Jackson Social Security Offices 415 Cheyenne Dr, Jackson,

Tennessee 38305

1-888-383-1593

1-731-664-6935

Johnson City Social Security Offices 818 Sunset Drive Suite 203, Johnson City,

Tennessee 37604

1-866-964-5059

1-423-282-4761

Kingsport Social Security Offices 2401 South Wilcox Dr, Kingsport,

Tennessee 37660

1-888-487-0161

1-423-392-4327

Knoxville Social Security Offices 8530 Kingston Pike, Knoxville,

Tennessee 37919

1-866-331-9091

1-800-325-0778

Lawrenceburg Social Security Offices 109 E Taylor Street, Lawrenceburg,

Tennessee 38464

1-877-405-5866

1-800-325-0778

Madison Social Security Offices 140 Cude Lane, Madison,

Tennessee 37115

1-866-964-6302

1-615-860-3548

Mcminnville Social Security Offices 900 Sparta St, Mcminnville,

Tennessee 37110

1-877-616-2515

1-800-325-0778

Memphis Social Security Office – 38128 3602 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis,

Tennessee 38128

1-855-420-8557

1-901-373-8695

Memphis Social Security Office – 38104 1330 Monroe Avenue, Memphis,

Tennessee 38104

1-866-336-2212

1-901-544-0052

Memphis Social Security Office – 38109 3461 South Third St, Memphis,

Tennessee 38109

1-855-782-9155

1-901-786-9348

Morristown Social Security Office 3112 Millers Point Dr, Morristown,

Tennessee 37813

1-866-875-6156

1-800-325-0778

Murfreesboro Social Security Office 2836 Saint Patrick Ct
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37128
1-866-593-3112

1-800-325-0778

Nashville Social Security Office 120 Athens Way
Nashville, Tennessee 37228
1-877-808-5461

1-877-293-5741

Oakridge Social Security Office 565 Oak Ridge Tpke, Oak Ridge,

Tennessee 37830

1-888-676-2954

1-800-325-0778

Paris Social Security Offices 186 Commerce St, Paris,

Tennessee 38242

1-866-698-2507

1-731-641-0406

Selmer Social Security Offices 661 Mulberry Ave, Selmer,

Tennessee 38375

1-888-397-4814

1-731-645-5373

Tullahoma Social Security Offices 717 Kings Lane, Tullahoma,

Tennessee 37388

1-866-635-0647

1-800-325-0778

Union City Social Security Offices 1800 Old Troy Rd, Union City,

Tennessee 38261

1-877-401-5904

1-731-885-3147

Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Tennessee

Assisted Living Service Plans

The Tennessee Health Care Association requires all assisted living facilities in the state to develop a service plan or a plan of care for each resident at the time of admission. The resident or a legal representative and the treating physician or a licensed medical professional should participate in developing the plan of care.

A service plan should explain:

  • The type of assistance the resident needs like activities of daily living and medication management
  • The extent and frequency of assistance needed and the caregivers involved
  • The visiting arrangements for or to physicians and other health providers
  • The healthcare power-of-attorney or advance care directive as applicable
  • The recreational and social activities desired by the resident
  • The dietary needs and preferences of the residents

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

Assisted living facilities in Tennessee should screen applicants based on the eligibility criteria set by the Tennessee Health Care Association.

According to state laws, assisted living facilities can admit or retain residents who:

  • Can care for themselves independently in some conditions
  • Do not qualify for a nursing care facility
  • Receive a Health and Community Based Services waiver from the board
  • Require skilled nursing care for a brief period

Facilities are restricted from admitting or retaining individuals who:

  • Demonstrate aggressive behavior and can be a serious threat to themselves or others
  • Suffer an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s or related memory loss disorders
  • Suffer exfoliative dermatitis or ulcers at stage III or IV
  • Have an infectious or communicable disease
  • Require continuous nursing care
  • Cannot evacuate within 13 minutes in case of an emergency
  • Are not able to communicate their needs

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities offer services that range from personal care to limited medical services. Since an assisted living facility is not an intensive nursing facility, medical assistance is provided to patients who usually self-administer medication. As per state regulations, an assisted living facility should have a licensed nurse to provide certain medical services like therapies, hospice care, and intravenous injections. The extent of medication management should be specified in the resident’s service plan.

Some assisted living facilities in Tennessee provide special care services including care for residents who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss disorders. These facilities are staffed with qualified and licensed care providers.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

According to the Tennessee Health Care Association, the TennCare CHOICES in Long-Term Care Program pays up to $1,100 per month for personal care services and medication management offered at an assisted living facility. Since this is a waiver program, not everyone who qualifies is entitled to receiving benefits. TennCare does not cover the room or board expenses and not all assisted living facilities in the state accept Medicaid benefits.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

All assisted living facilities must comply with the International Building Code, the National Fire Protection Code, National Electrical Code, the U.S Public Health Service Food Code, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An assisted living facility must provide:

  • A bedroom of 80 square feet or more with a maximum of 2 beds and privacy screens or curtains for each resident
  • A storage space for each resident for their personal belongings and medications
  • A dining area that accommodates all residents with a minimum of 15 square feet per resident
  • Toilets and bath or shower areas that will be used by a maximum of 6 residents
  • A living area furnished with a calendar, a television set, a radio, and a clock
  • A telephone accessible to all residents 24 hours a day
  • A kitchen with all types of cooking equipment
  • A storage area for soiled linens
  • An emergency keyed lock box next to each functioning elevator and fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry areas, and at all exits
  • A storage area for janitorial supplies that is away from all common areas and is inaccessible to the residents

Medication Management Regulations

All medication management services at an assisted living facility must be provided only by licensed or qualified staff. Medication assistance must be specified in the resident’s plan of care.

An assisted living facility is allowed to:

  • Administer medications to residents who usually self-administer
  • Provide occasional nursing care, therapies, podiatry care, and hospice service as prescribed by the resident’s physician
  • Administer intravenous injections only if the resident needs it occasionally or receives hospice service

Staffing Requirements

Assisted living facilities should employ a qualified administrator as required by the Tennessee Department of Health Board. The administrator will manage the facility and ensure proper functioning.

The staff of an assisted living facility must include:

  • An administrator who is at least 18 years old, is certified by the Board or licensed in Tennessee as a nursing home administrator, is a high school graduate or a diploma holder, and has not been convicted of any criminal offense related to an elderly or vulnerable person
  • An attendant who is alert and awake at all times to attend to the personal and medical needs of the residents
  • A licensed nurse as needed
  • A qualified dietitian to manage the daily dietary needs and train staff in dietary services

Staff Training Requirements

An assisted living facility has to provide documentation to the Department of Health specifying the in-service training its staff members receive annually.

The in-service training must include a 24-hour Board-approved continuing education for the administrator which covers subjects like state laws, health care management, nutrition and food service, financial management, and healthy lifestyle. Additionally, annual in-service training for all staff members must be completed. Topics include:

  • Basic facts about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
  • Dealing with a resident’s dysfunctional behavior or catastrophic reactions
  • Identifying and alleviating safety risks
  • Assisting residents in daily living activities
  • Communicating with families

Background Checks for Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities should perform a criminal background check before employing individuals or accepting volunteers. The Tennessee Department of Health maintains The Abuse Registry for the State of Tennessee which lists individuals who have been accused or convicted of a criminal offense related to abuse, neglect, or exploitation involving an elderly or a vulnerable individual. An assisted living facility must provide the Board with proof that all its employees and volunteers have not been convicted of such crimes.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Any suspicion regarding elder abuse in long-term facilities should be reported to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman investigates cases of elder abuse including deprivation of health, medical, and welfare services, neglect, financial exploitation, and physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse. A report can also be filed with the Adult Protective Services at reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov or by calling the 24/7 hotline at 1-888-277-8366.

In case an assisted living facility is suspected of violating the state’s statutes or regulations regarding staff members, facility structure, licenses, and services must be reported to the Division of Health Care Facilities by calling at 1-877-287-0010. Alternatively, a complaint form can be downloaded and mailed to the Division of Health Care Facilities Centralized Complaint Intake Unit at 665 Mainstream Drive, Second Floor, Nashville, TN 37243,