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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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How to Pay for Assisted Living in Tennessee

Determining how to finance assisted living often starts with the question, “What’s the cost?” In today’s economy, where inflation plays a significant role, having current data is crucial for senior living financial planning. has gathered cost information from its expansive network of over 75,000 senior living providers. This data offers a glimpse into the average expenses for assisted living in Tennessee and 33 additional cities within Tennessee.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Assisted Living in Tennessee

Inflation has impacted the cost of senior living across the United States, with average fees increasing by around 10% nationwide between 2022 and 2023. Communities in Tennessee have likewise been affected by inflation, with fees increasing by 24%, up to $4,201, over the same time period, and being projected to rise another 8% by 2024. These fee increases make Tennessee a relatively expensive option compared to some neighboring states. Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama are all more affordable, with average fees of $3,748, $3,952 and $3,798 respectively. However, Tennessee’s assisted living prices compare favorably to Virginia’s current costs of $4,604 monthly.

Location 2022 Cost (Historical) 2023 Cost (Current) 2024 Cost (Estimated)
Tennessee $3,383 $4,201 $4,543
U.S. Average $4,070 $4,459 $4,802
Kentucky $3,288 $3,748 $4,397
Virginia $4,641 $4,604 $5,013
Georgia $3,730 $3,952 $3,895
Alabama $3,316 $3,798 $4,045

Assisted Living Costs in Tennessee's Top Cities

While most cities in Tennessee are likely to charge fees close to the average of $4,201 for assisted living, prices do vary across the state. Tullahoma offers some of the most affordable assisted living options, at $1,850, and facilities in Jackson can also be inexpensive, at around $3,533. In contrast, typical fees in Bristol are close to the state average at $4,181, while those in Crossville often cost around $1,300 above the state average.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Senior living costs are often based on the types of services provided. In Pennsylvania, independent living is the most affordable option at $3,484 and is ideal for seniors who can care for themselves. Those requiring supportive services, such as assistance with daily activities, may opt for assisted living, which averages $5,091 per month. Seniors facing memory loss issues may require specialized memory care services, which cost slightly more than assisted living, at $5,489 per month.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Tennessee


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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

In Tennessee, a multitude of resources are available to support seniors during their retirement years. has gathered data on various local entities, initiatives, and agencies, and organized them according to the type of care they provide for effortless navigation.

Area Agency on Aging

Your local Area Agency on Aging is a valuable resource for retirees, offering guidance on financial aid, in-home care, and long-term care planning. They also link seniors and caregivers to community resources.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Area Agencies on Aging The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability oversees state funding for home- and community-based programs for seniors aged 60 and above. These programs, managed by nine area agencies across all 95 counties, aim to enhance the quality of life and promote independence among older Tennesseans. Services provided include daily living assistance, home health care, meal delivery, home accessibility, and maintenance.

Cash Assistance Programs

In Tennessee, financial aid programs are available to support low-income seniors in maintaining their home-based living. These programs offer tax relief, essential service discounts, and assistance with home heating and cooling expenses.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Families First 866-311-4287 Tennessee Families First, managed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, is the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families initiative. This program supports seniors in their pursuit of stable employment by offering temporary cash aid, transportation assistance, educational support, and job training. It aims to help individuals secure part-time or full-time positions.
Tennessee Lifeline Program 800-234-9473 Lifeline offers discounted phone and internet bills to eligible Tennessee customers. Upon enrollment, the discount is automatically applied to your bill. Each household is limited to one enrollment, and benefits cannot be transferred.

Food Assistance Programs

In Tennessee, various local initiatives are dedicated to promoting senior health through balanced nutrition. They offer services like meal delivery, communal dining, and food banks, ensuring elderly residents have access to affordable, nutritious food.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Aging Nutrition Program 866-836-6678 The Agency on Aging offers a nutrition program for Chattanooga seniors. Those who can leave home can enjoy hot meals and socialize at congregate meal sites. Homebound seniors receive meals and a friendly visit from volunteers, ensuring their safety. All meals meet one-third of seniors’ daily nutritional needs. Eligibility requirements apply, and there is no cost for the meals.
Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability Home-Delivered Meals 866-836-6678 The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability provides nutrition programs for seniors aged 60866-311-4287 and individuals with disabilities. The home-delivered meal service, also known as Meals on Wheels, is available for frail, sick, or homebound residents who have been assessed by a caseworker. Along with daily meals, this service offers friendly visits and safety checks by volunteer drivers.
Tennessee Meals on Wheels Meals on Wheels is a nationwide network of providers that addresses hunger and isolation, focusing on low-income seniors. Volunteers deliver prepared meals and food supplies, while also offering check-ins and additional support services.
Tennessee Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 866-311-4287 The Tennessee Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers financial assistance to low-income seniors, ensuring they have consistent access to food. Eligibility is based on income and resource limits, with seniors having no more than $4,250 in cash or savings. Approved seniors receive an electronic benefit transfer card, similar to a debit card, enabling them to buy food at local grocery stores and select online retailers.
Tennessee The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides free food to low-income seniors in Tennessee. Eligibility is based on income (below 150% of the poverty level) or enrollment in another assistance program. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture distributes food to 17 community agencies and five food banks, ensuring that eligible seniors can access produce and shelf-stable goods from nearby locations.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Tennessee, numerous groups are addressing the steep expense of new medical equipment. They gather gently used items like wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, providing them to local seniors and individuals in need.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Equipment Program & Loan Closet – Nashville 877-216-5551 The ALS Association provides a wide range of durable medical equipment for members to borrow, free of charge. Additionally, registered members can access a strong financial aid program to purchase new equipment that may not be available in our inventory. We are committed to supporting our members with their equipment needs.
Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP) 800-464-5619 TTAP is a statewide program that connects over 30 local groups to ensure access to essential assistive technology. With the aim of maintaining a vast inventory, TTAP volunteers offer demonstrations and potential home delivery services.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Tennessee, numerous programs are available to aid seniors and individuals with disabilities in financing home modifications and repairs. These programs, offering grants or loans, have diverse eligibility requirements specifically designed for retirees.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Home Modifications & Ramps Program 800-228-8432 The Tennessee Home Modification program offers seniors the opportunity to enhance their home’s safety and accessibility through state-backed home improvement loans. With loan amounts up to $25,000 and a low 5% interest rate, seniors can make necessary upgrades to their homes.

In Tennessee, numerous agencies provide affordable or complimentary legal assistance to the elderly. They offer counsel on matters like estate management, living wills, and power of attorney. Some even serve as advocates for seniors’ rights in long-term care facilities.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) 888-395-9297 The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services collaborates with legal nonprofits to offer complimentary legal assistance and guidance to senior citizens. Our team of lawyers specializes in areas such as housing, estate planning, long-term care, and advance directives. Additionally, our hotline provides referrals to local legal resources. We are dedicated to supporting seniors in accessing the legal help they need.
Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman 615-253-5412 The statewide long-term care ombudsman program supports seniors in assisted living facilities. Seniors can reach out to the ombudsman for assistance with researching local facilities, exploring payment options, and resolving care-related issues.

Senior Engagement

In Tennessee, a variety of programs and resources are available for seniors to stay engaged and active. These include wellness initiatives, volunteering options, and support networks, all aimed at fostering community involvement and enhancing life quality.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Alzheimer’s Support and Educational Programs Tennessee Chapter 800-272-3900 The Alzheimer’s Association of Tennessee offers support for seniors facing Alzheimer’s disease. They provide virtual and in-person support groups for older adults and caregivers, helping them navigate the challenges of the diagnosis. The organization also offers a resource finder to connect seniors with local programs. Fundraisers bring the community together to fight Alzheimer’s and support those affected by the disease.
University of Tennessee Knoxville One Stop Student Services 865-974-1111 Tennessee adults aged 60 and above can attend non-credit classes at public colleges in the state tuition-free. Those aged 65 and above can also take credit classes without paying tuition, with some restrictions on fees and class sizes.

Social Security Offices

In Tennessee, Social Security offices provide essential services to seniors and individuals with disabilities. They offer guidance on retirement benefits, disability allowances, and Supplemental Security Income.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Social Security Social Security provides income for retirees and individuals unable to work due to disability. Funding is derived from payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Upon retirement, monthly payments are determined by previous earnings.

Tax Assistance

Numerous tax aid resources are available in Tennessee for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. These include potential exemptions on medical costs, property tax reductions, and other tax relief initiatives.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Property Tax Relief 615-747-8858 The Division of Property Assessments in Tennessee offers senior homeowners an annual direct payment to assist in covering their property taxes. The amount of the payment is determined by the value of the house and the location within the state.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Organizations are available to aid low-income seniors in {} struggling with home maintenance costs, including utility and energy bills. Emergency funding may also be accessible for those at risk of utility service termination due to unpaid bills.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 800-228-8432 The Tennessee Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program offers financial assistance to seniors for heating and cooling bills. It also provides emergency funds for pending utility disconnection notices or malfunctioning equipment. Payments are made directly to energy providers. To qualify, seniors must demonstrate income below 60% of the state median income. Seniors receiving SSI or SNAP may automatically qualify.

Veteran’s Services

Veteran services in Tennessee offer invaluable assistance to retired military personnel. These local entities guide veterans in utilizing their rightful benefits and provide counsel on diverse matters.

Program Name Phone Number Description
Tennessee VA Benefits and Health Care Tennessee VA Benefits and Health Care offers senior veterans in the state the necessary support for quality health care and financial assistance during retirement. Veterans aged 65 and above can access comprehensive health care services, including specialized geriatric care, at VA medical centers and clinics. Additionally, seniors can receive financial aid through pension programs, Aid and Attendance payments, and other government benefits to help cover long-term care or in-home care expenses.

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 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 reported online.

Tennessee COVID-19 Rules for Assisted Living Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/15/22. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your assisted living facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Rules in Tennessee
Are loved ones allowed to visit residents in their assisted living community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents required to quarantine after their loved ones visit? No
Are loved ones required to wear masks when visiting residents? Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors allowed in assisted living communities? Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures before entering the assisted living community? Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the assisted living community for non-medical reasons? Yes
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they get back to the assisted living community? No (Conditions Apply)
Are assisted living communities required to cancel all group outings? No
Are assisted living communities allowed to host group activities within the community? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms? Yes
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures? Yes
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19? Yes (Conditions Apply)



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