Assisted Living in Tennessee

State Information

Facts and Figures about Tennessee
Population: 6,651,194
Capital: Nashville
Largest City: Nashville

Tennessee is the type of state that can cater to a variety of lifestyles and interests. There isn’t a huge amount of people who come here from other states in seek of assisted living care, however there are some great facilities and numerous reasons to enjoy life in The Volunteer State. We’re going to be covering some basic facts about Tennessee, some fun and interesting things that you can do or see here, and most importantly what you need to look for (and also what you need to avoid) when trying to find an assisted living facility in Tennessee.

Quick Facts about Tennessee

  • Tennessee is among the smaller states, with a total area of 42,143 square miles which ranks it comfortable in 36th place.
  • The population in Tennessee ranks 16th place, much higher than it’s total area, and 16th overall in America.
  • The median household income in Tennessee is $47,330 which is among the lowest ten states in the USA, currently ranking at 42nd. This is balanced by an affordable cost of living, and many options for senior living and assisted living, along with regulations and guidelines that make it a desirable place to live, not to mention Medicaid vouchers which we’ll discuss more in depth.

Types of Assisted Living in Tennessee

Assisted living is a very important decision in one’s life, and choosing the correct facility is so important. Even though most of them follow most of the same state-wide procedures and guidelines, they can still vary greatly. We’re going to be looking over a lot of the minimum requirements, but keep in mind that some places will adhere to the minimums (and may be considered more affordable options), and others may be a little pricier but also offering a higher level of care. It’s tough to say, and that’s why research is so very important.

In any case, here are some standard aspects of care that you can expect from any facility that offers memory care, senior care, and assisted living. They’ll be able to help with laundry, nutrition and meals, medication, overall protection and safety, assistance with personal things, daily tasks, and more. If one requires care that isn’t offered by a particular facility, they can always hire a third party to come to their assisted living home and help them.

When it comes to memory care units for dementia, Alzheimer’s and general cognitive issues, a facility in Tennessee is permitted to admit them. They need to have secured units, and follow a more thorough set of guidelines in order to protect these residents, and the rest of the people living there as well.

Requirements for Moving in or Moving Out

Initial assessment information: An initial assessment before moving into a care home in Tennessee ensures that everyone is getting the types of care they need, and that all of the care givers, family members, and the residents themselves are all on the same page. If one’s needs cannot be met by a facility, for example of they require too thorough a level of care, they will be prompted to seek that care elsewhere.

In addition, these assessments need to be updated occasionally, as one’s condition can change over time. If the situation becomes worse, and a facility is no longer able to assist someone, and hiring a third party to help out isn’t practical, they will be required to leave the home. Some examples of issues that could lead to this include, but aren’t limited to, a resident who needs to be restrained, if they are abusive (this includes physically and verbally) and are creating a hostile environment, if they have infectious diseases and wounds, or if they need skilled nursing care on a regular, continuing basis. It’s never the first choice, but sometimes it’s important to take the comfort and care of all residents into account, and if one person is creating a worse living situation for the others, it makes sense to move them to a place where they will also be able to receive the care they need. It’s unfortunate, but ultimately it is better for everyone overall.

General Information About Care

Bathroom requirements: For every six people living in a facility, the building is required to have a tub or shower, a toilet, and a sink. This isn’t a great ratio, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen either. In some states, any new buildings that go up are required to give every single resident their own private bathroom and we think that’s the best option, but if it’s not an option – go with what you can get, it’s not a huge priority for everyone, some people don’t mind sharing.

Medication handling: Care givers who aren’t licensed to administer medication can still help with reminding people to take their meds and helping with reading the instructions on the labels, but in order to administer it for the resident, proper licensing and training is required. However, the resident is also able to self-administer if they’re able to do so.

Fire and Safety information: Safety regulations for the state and local areas must be followed, which include the use of sprinkler systems to stop the spread of fires, smoke detectors to catch them early, and fire alarms to let everyone know what’s going on.

Staff Training and Requirements

Staff need to be trained on a variety of things, including how to handle emergency situations and general care, which usually depends on the specific types of work they’re doing. For instance, if someone is working with more vulnerable residents in memory care, their training will need to reflect the additional challenges and struggles that can go along with that.

Medicaid for Assisted Living in Tennessee and Additional Information

There is assistance available through Medicaid, and also a program that’s run through the state. It’s a good idea to reach out to both to see which is a good fit, which you may want to do either before or after choosing a facility, depending on how much of an impact the budget and funding will have on your decision.

You can reach out to the Department of Health’s Division of Health Care Facilities to learn more about regulations, options that exist, and funding that you may quality for.