Tennessee Memory Care: Communities caring for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia care
The low cost of living in Tennessee helps make it a desirable location for seniors and retirees. The mild climate and beautiful scenery also appeal to aging adults. The state ranks high for senior care and housing, and the healthcare system is premier in the United States. The state’s growing aging adult community will likely require care at some point. When most people think of senior care and housing they typically envision a nursing home. However, nursing homes are not the only option for caring for our aging population. More people in the United States each year, including Tennessee, live with cognitive impairment. Memory care in Tennessee provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Tennessee memory care communities care for residents in a a safe and secure, home like setting.
- Tennessee Memory Care: Communities caring for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia care
- Navigating Memory Care Communities in Tennessee
- Laws and regulations in Tennessee
- What is the cost of memory care in Tennessee?
- How to pay for memory care in Tennessee
- Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living:
- Questions to Ask
- Resources and links related to Senior Living and Care
- Search other areas for Memory Care
There are other types of care that are not specific to dementia care.
Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living:
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.
- Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.
- Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations).
- Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care.
- Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements.
- Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.
Navigating Memory Care Communities in Tennessee
as you research memory care communities in Tennessee you may come across other common terms:
- Assisted living facility
- Nursing Home
- Continuing care
- Convalescent home
- Retirement community
- Old folks’ home
Laws and regulations in Tennessee
Tennessee memory care communities are all licensed under the same umbrella as assisted living facilities, by the Tennessee Department of Health Board for Licensing Healthcare Facilities. All communities and facilities are required by law to have a secure unit for such care.
Services offered in memory care in Tennessee
Tennessee memory care communities must offer medical services: medication administration, therapies, as well as intermittent nursing care, and in addition:
- Assistance with activities of daily living. This includes bathing, dressing and toileting.
- Round the clock access to trained nurses.
- Transportation to doctors’ appointments and additional outings.
- Interior and exterior maintenance duties.
- Meal preparation and serving.
- Housekeeping and laundry services.
Specific features designed for the safety of residents with dementia
These may include:
- Security cameras, alarms or egress to manage entry and exit points in the community.
- Keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering.
- Safety protocols in place which may include locked doors.
- Additional training for staff specifically related to Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias.
- Staff training to assist residents with redirection, wandering or some behaviors.
- Activities and meal service may be modified for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias.
In a memory care community, the focus of activities is to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged and active as possible. Typically, activities may be like the kind offered in other residential communities. The positive difference is the modification to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged.
Some communities may offer activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents
- Arts and crafts
- Secure outdoor open-air courtyards
- Swimming pools
- Lounges for residents
- Game rooms
- Dining rooms
- Fitness centers
What is the cost of memory care in Tennessee?
Statistics show that memory care is usually 20-30% more expensive than assisted living, and typically costs more than other senior care. This is a result of the specially trained staff and the enhanced security measures in place for the safety of residents. Memory care in Tennessee is $5,150 per month on average. This less than the national, however, Tennessee memory care costs more than neighboring states in the region.
- National average cost of memory care per month: $5,650
- Tennessee: $5,150
- North Carolina: $5,000
- Georgia: $4,150
- Kentucky: $4,300
The cost of memory care will vary within the state of Tennessee. Some cities and counties are more expensive than others.
- Tennessee state average cost for memory care per month: $5,150
- Chattanooga: $5,300
- Nashville: $5,150
- Memphis: $5,250
- Knoxville: $4,800
How to pay for memory care in Tennessee
You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.
The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.
Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.
For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.
Medicare – NO:
- Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
- People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
- Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.
Private pay – YES:
- Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
- Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
- Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.
Medicaid – MAYBE:
- Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
- Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
- Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
- National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
- The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
- If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.
Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:
Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.
- Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
- Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.
Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:
This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.
- There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
- A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
- If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.
Questions to Ask
Finding an assisted living community, can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:
Resources and links related to Senior Living and Care
Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings
Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.
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