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According to the 2012 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of assisted living in Tennessee is $3,304 per month.
The monthly base rate for Tennessee assisted living is typically higher when compared to neighboring states. Tennessee is also more expensive compared to the national average.
This cost is the base cost for a one-bedroom assisted living unit in Tennessee. Additional fees beyond the base rate may apply.
Monthly Costs Compared to Neighboring States
Tennessee defines an assisted care living facility simply as a building that accepts elderly residents for residential care and services.
In Tennessee, an assisted living facility can offer medical services, but it must provide personal services, which are defined as assistance with ADL's, protective awareness, safety, room and board, laundry services, the ability to intervene if there is any type of crisis and other non-medical services. Medical services that be provided in an assisted living facility include medication administration, intermittent nursing care, providing medical supplies and equipment, hospice care, and other therapies. Medical services must be performed by an appropriately licensed health care professional.
A resident cannot be admitted or allowed to stay in a Tennessee assisted living facility if he or she has an active infectious and reportable disease, is a danger to himself or others, has a stage III or IV ulcer, is aggressive or requires chemical or physical restraints. A resident is not a candidate if he or she needs continuous nursing care. However, once a resident, if there is an injury or illness that requires nursing care for up to three 21 day periods, then the facility may allow the resident to stay.
An intake assessment is performed on all new residents to confirm that the facility can meet the needs and preferences of the resident.
Medication may be self-administered or administered by a licensed professional. Such assistance includes reminders, reading labels and direct observation.
No bedroom shall have more than two beds and there should by a full bathroom for every six residents. The facilities must be protected by a fire sprinkler, in addition to meeting stringent fire and building codes. A minimum of 80 square feet of living space is required per resident and common areas must have room for all residents to gather at one time. The dining area must allow at least 15 square feet of area per diner.
Direct care staff must be sufficient in number to meet the needs of the residents. A dietician must be either employed or used as a consultant for meal planning. A licensed nurse must be available when needed. An administrator must hold a high school diploma and not have been convicted of a crime of abuse or neglect against an elderly person. An administrator must be licensed as a nursing home administrator or hold a license from the Board of Licensing Health Care Facilities.
While room and board is not covered, Tennessee has both a state-only funded and a Medicaid-funded home and community-based services waiver program to help pay for services within an assisted living facility.
If an assisted living facility has an Alzheimer's unit, then staff who work in the unit must have specific training for working with that population. At least one specially trained staff person must be present in the unit at all times. Certain written disclosures are required for these units.
The State of Tennessee pays for services in assisted living communities. The program is called TennCare CHOICES in Long-Term Care. Participants that choose to reside in a community will receive financial help for nursing and personal care services. Room and board is not covered by this Medicaid waiver.
The program helps the elderly and / or disabled residents that require a nursing home level of care. A wide range of personal care assistance and support services can be paid for by this program. Some of the care services can be self-directed by the consumer. This means they are able to choose their care providers like family members, with the exception of spouses and legal guardians, to be their paid caregiver.
TennCare CHOICES in Long-Term Care Benefits
- Personal care assistance with the activities of daily living sometimes also called attendant care
- Homemaker services sometimes also referred to assistance with the instrumental activities of daily living
- Personal Emergency Response services or PERS
- Adult day care
- Respite care for the primary caregiver
- Assistive technology and home modifications to make one's residence more accessible
How to apply - individuals can contact the local Area Agency on Aging or you can visit the TennCare Choice website. The phone number to call is 1-866-836-6678. The CHOICES program is available statewide.
What is the best number to call to get started? 1-866-836-6678
Is there a website? http://www.tn.gov/tenncare/long_choices.shtml
Department of Health, Division of Health Care Facilities Phone (615) 741-7221
Contact: Ann Rutherford Reed Phone (615) 532-6595
Web Site: www2.state.tn.us/health/HCF/
Much of the information above was adapted from the National Center of Assisted Living 2010 Regulatory Review.
License information source: Tennessee Department of Health